HealthDay News — The proportion of emergency department visits resulting from assault and self-harm is higher among incarcerated adults than among nonincarcerated adults, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Avital Wulz, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined nonfatal injury-related emergency department visits among incarcerated adults using 2010 to 2019 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System — All Injury Program data.
The researchers found that an estimated 733,547 emergency department visits by incarcerated adults occurred in the United States during 2010 to 2019. Compared with nonincarcerated adults, the proportion of emergency department visits resulting from assault and self-harm was five times as high among incarcerated adults. The highest proportion of assault-related emergency department visits occurred among men and adults aged younger than 65 years. Among incarcerated adults aged 65 years and older, falls accounted for the most emergency department visits. The proportion of emergency department visits for overdose or poisoning was higher for incarcerated women than incarcerated men.
“Increased availability of community- and facility-level resources for comprehensive mental health services and creating protective environments could help mitigate the risk for self-harm and violence associated with incarceration,” the authors write.