Estimating the burden of serious farm-related Injury in Minnesota

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Estimating the burden of serious farm-related Injury in Minnesota

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Minnesota was ranked 6th in the United States for total sales of agricultural product, with just over $13 billion in sales in the year 2011. Only 1.1% of Minnesota's workforce was employed in agriculture for the year 2011. However, this small portion of Minnesota's workforce has one of the highest fatality rates, with 28 (40%) of the 70 work-related deaths that occurred in the year 2010. While the number of agricultural fatalities that have occurred in Minnesota is well documented, non-fatal injuries are not. To address this issue the Minnesota hospital discharge data set was used to create counts, rates, and trends of agricultural injury for 2000-2011. The Cost of Illness model was then used to create estimates of the economic burden of agricultural injuries in Minnesota for 2004-2010.Using a set of seven E codes, more than 2,000 injuries annually with a relationship to agriculture were identified. The identified cases were categorized into probable or possible depending upon the E code present in the record. These designations were created as two of the E codes, E849.1 (occurred on a farm) and E919.0 (a relationship to agricultural machinery), have a greater specificity for a relationship to agriculture than the remaining E codes. Over 500 cases were identified annually with a probable case designation. Trend analysis of all identified cases found a non-significant average increase of 1.5% annually for the time period, 2000-2011. Estimated annual costs (2010 dollars) for agricultural injury ranged between $21 and $31 million annually for 2004-2010. The majority of the costs are attributed to the indirect costs and the costs associated with fatal injuries. These estimated costs were found to be of similar magnitude to costs for motor vehicle and bicycle accidents, diabetes, and heart disease in Minnesota. This research demonstrates that hospital discharge data provides a readily available source of information for tracking agricultural injury, allowing for limited surveillance and evaluation of future intervention endeavors and policy implementation. The magnitude of the associated costs argue for better surveillance of these injuries, as well as evaluation of future interventions and policy to prevent agricultural injury.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major:Environmental Health. Advisor: Patricia McGovern. 1 computer file (PDF); xv, 209 pages, appendices 1-7.

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Landsteiner, Adrienne Marie. (2014). Estimating the burden of serious farm-related Injury in Minnesota. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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