Background: Major trauma has been one of the leading causes of morbidity, mortality, and functional disability, resulting in substantial societal burden. The aim of this study was to estimate the trends in burden of adult major trauma in Taiwan during 2003–2015. Methods: Adult patients with initial encounter of major trauma (injury severity score ≥ 16) were abstracted from the claim data of National Health Insurance (NHI) in Taiwan from January 2003 to December 2015. We explored the trends of incidence and mortality rates over time stratified by age and sex, as well as life expectancy (LE), loss-of-LE, lifetime healthcare expenditure and total loss-of-LE compared with age, sex and calendar-year matched referents simulated from the vital statistics of Taiwan. Results: A total of 71,731 cases of adult major trauma, and an estimated loss of 979,676 life-years were found with an increasing trend in cumulative incidence rate (CIR18-84) during 2003–2015. The incidence rates were significantly higher in men than women. For both sexes, the incidence rates for those aged 65 and above were about 2–3 times higher than those of all other age groups. The one-year case fatality rates among the elderly were about 31–61%, higher than all other ages. The lifetime healthcare expenditures per person were 47,616 USD in men and 43,416 USD in women. Conclusion: There is a consistently increasing trend in incidence and mortality of major trauma in Taiwan, especially among elderly people. For Taiwan, an aged society beginning since 2018, the challenge should be tackled more effectively in the coming decades.
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