Bathtub drowning mortality among older adults in Japan

Wan Hua Hsieh, Chien Hsing Wang, Tsung Hsueh Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the bathtub drowning mortality among older adults in Japan. Mortality data from Japan and 30 other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries were extracted from World Health Organization Cause of Death Query Online. During 2012–2014, unintentional drowning mortality rates in Japan were 9.5, 28.2 and 39.7 per 100,000 population for adults aged 65–74, 75–84 and ≥85 years, respectively—rates highest among the 31 OECD countries. In total, 6377 older adults aged ≥65 years died from unintentional drowning in 2014, of which 4857 (76%) deaths involved bathtubs. During 1995–2014, the bathtub drowning mortality rate for adults aged ≥65 years was stable in Japan. During 2011–2014, approximately 4800 older adults died from bathtub drowning annually. Death predominantly occurred ‘while in a bathtub’, rather than ‘following a fall into a bathtub’. In 2014, 95% and 87% of bathtub drowning deaths among older women and men aged ≥65 years, respectively, occurred at home. In conclusion, bathtub drowning deaths at home is an important public health problem among older adults Japanese and efforts are needed to reduce these preventable deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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