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Spatial Analysis of Injury-related Deaths in Dallas County using a Geographic Information System

June 29, 2012

BUMC Proceedings, 2012, Vol 25, No. 3

Adil Abdalla, DVM, MS, Mark Gunst, MD, Vafa Ghaemmaghami, MD, Amy C. Gruszecki, DO, Jill Urban, MD,
Robert C. Barber, PhD, Larry M. Gentilello, MD, and Shahid Shafi, MD, MPH

“This study applied a geographic information system (GIS) to identify clusters of injury-related deaths (IRDs) within a large urban county (26 cities; population, 2.4 million). All deaths due to injuries in Dallas County (Texas) in 2005 (N = 670) were studied, including the geographic location of the injury event. Out of 26 cities in Dallas County, IRDs were reported in 19 cities. Geospatial data were obtained from the local governments and entered into the GIS.

Density of trauma-related deaths per square mile in Dallas County, Texas, in 2005

Density of trauma-related deaths per square mile in Dallas County, Texas, in 2005, showing GIS “hot spots” for trauma-related deaths due to gunshot wound (GSW, purple circle), homicide (gray circle), and motor-pedestrian collision (MPC, blue circle).

“Standardized mortality ratios (SMR, with 95% CI) were calculated for each city and the county using national age-adjusted rates. Dallas County had significantly more deaths due to homicides (SMR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.54–1.98) and IRDs as a result of gunshots (SMR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.09–1.37) than the US national rate. However, this increase was restricted to a single city (the city of Dallas) within the county, while the rest of the 25 cities in the county experienced IRD rates that were either similar to or better than the national rate, or experienced no IRDs. GIS mapping was able to depict high-risk geographic “hot spots” for IRDs. In conclusion, GIS spatial analysis identified geographic clusters of IRDs, which were restricted to only one of 26 cities in the county.”

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