A 10-year analysis of jaw fractures in Australia

Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant


Previous analysis of jaw fracture hospitalisations in Western Australia (WA) indicated disproportionately high rates of hospitalisations for Aboriginal people. This study was to follow-up on the earlier analysis to determine if inequalities in terms of jaw fracture hospitalisation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people have changed.

This study, done over a 10-year period from 1999/2000 to 2008/2009, aimed to determine rates of hospitalisations for jaw fractures in WA, trends over the 10–year period, and direct costs associated with these hospital admissions.

Hospitalisation data were obtained from the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data System (HMDS). Episodes were selected on the basis of an ICD10-AM code being S02.4 (Fracture of the malar and maxillary bones) and S02.6 (Fracture of the mandible). Self-reported Aboriginality were used to compare Aboriginal to non-Aboriginal populations. Estimated cost of care was determined for each episode using the national standard diagnostic-related group (DRG) average price.

Our findings indicate that inequalities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in terms of hospital admissions for jaw fractures exist in WA, and continued over a decade- long period. Higher fracture rates occurred amongst males, Aboriginal people, younger adult age-groups, those from low socioeconomic areas, and those from remote and very remote areas. The DRG cost per person for jaw fractures ranged between AUD $842 and $109,002, with a median cost of $4,965.

Hospital admission rates for the treatment of maxillary and mandibular fractures is very strongly divided along racial and socioeconomic lines in WA.
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