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Open Access Research article

The Relationship between Injury and Socioeconomic Status in Reference to the Fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Sung-Kyung Kim1*, Hyocher Kim2, Kyungsuk Lee2, Hee-Tae Kang1, Sung-Soo Oh1 and Sang Baek Ko1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Wonju Severance Christian’s Hospital, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea

2 National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), Rural Development Administration (RDA), Seoul, Suwon, Korea

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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2014, 26:1  doi:10.1186/2052-4374-26-1

Published: 3 January 2014



This study aims to investigate the relationship between the total injury experience rate and socioeconomic status based on the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).


By analyzing data from the fourth KNHANES conducted from 2007 to 2009, we estimated the injury experience rate according to socioeconomic status, including the occupational characteristics of 11,837 subjects. Setting the injury experience rate as a dependent variable and socioeconomic status as an independent variable, we performed logistic regression to calculate odds ratios reflecting the likelihood of injury according to socioeconomic status while controlling for relevant covariates.


In 797 subjects who had injury experience over the past 1 year, 290 persons (36.4%) had a work-related injury. As their income, home value, and educational status increased, their injury experiences decreased. Among occupational groups, the craft, equipment, machine operating, and assembling workers showed the highest rate (10.6%) of injury experience, and the lowest rate (5.7%) was found in the unemployed group. After adjusting for the confounding variables, the experience of injury was significantly related to several socioeconomic factors: high income (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34-0.86), high home value (OR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.43-0.96), low education status (OR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.07-1.52), and specific occupations such as craft, equipment, machine operating, and assembling work (OR = 1.99; 95% CI: 1.60-2.47), skilled agriculture, forestry and fishery work (OR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.02-2.01), and simple labor (OR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.04-1.82).


The injury experience rate differed depending on the socioeconomic status. A negative correlation was found between the injury experience rate and income, low home value, and education level. Moreover, a higher rate of injury experience was found in occupation groups and physical worker groups in comparison to the unemployed group and white-collar worker groups. This study would be useful in selecting appropriate priorities for injury management in Korea.

Injury; Socioeconomic status; Income; Occupation; Education