Geospatial characteristics of non-motor vehicle and assault-related trauma events in greater Phoenix, Arizona

Alan Cook, Robin Harris, Heidi E. Brown, Edward Bedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Injury-causing events are not randomly distributed across a landscape, but how they are associated with the features and characteristics of the places where they occur in Arizona (AZ) remains understudied. Clustering of trauma events and associations with areal sociodemographic characteristics in the greater Phoenix (PHX), AZ region can promote understanding and inform efforts to ameliorate a leading cause of death and disability for Arizonans. The outcomes of interest are trauma events unrelated to motor vehicle crashes (MVC) and the subgroup of trauma events due to interpersonal assaults. Methods: A retrospective, ecological study was performed incorporating data from state and national sources for the years 2013-2017. Geographically weighted regression models explored associations between the rates of non-MVC trauma events (n/10,000 population) and the subgroup of assaultive trauma events per 1000 and areal characteristics of socioeconomic deprivation (areal deprivation index [ADI]), the density of retail alcohol outlets for offsite consumption, while controlling for race/ethnicity, population density, and the percentage urban population. Results: The 63,451 non-MVC traumas within a 3761 mile2 study area encompassing PHX and 22 surrounding communities, an area with nearly 60% of the state's population and 54% of the trauma events in the AZ State Trauma Registry for the years 2013-2017. Adjusting for confounders, ADI was associated with the rates of non-MVC and assaultive traumas in all census block groups studied (mean coefficients 0.05 sd. 0.001 and 0.07 sd. 0.002 for non-MVC and assaultive trauma, respectively). Alcohol retail outlet density was also associated with non-MVC and assaultive traumas in fewer block groups compared to ADI. Conclusion: Socioeconomic deprivation and alcohol outlet density were associated with injury producing events in the greater PHX area. These features persist in the environment before and after the traumas occur. Ongoing research is warranted to identify the most influential areal predictors of traumatic injury-causing events in the greater PHX area to inform and geographically target prevention initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalInjury Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020


  • Assault
  • Geospatial
  • Geostatistical
  • Injury
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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