Economic factors impact orthopaedic trauma volume
Previous studies have found that human behavior during a recession is remarkably different than that during a bullish economy. For example, people tend to spend more time focused on working and less time engaging in leisure and recreation activities, resulting in fewer motor vehicle and other accidents.
According to a 10-year study at a Level 1 regional trauma center, presented today at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), economic trends do impact orthopedic trauma volume.
Between 1999 and 2009, a local county's population steadily grew at an annual rate between .9 and 2.9 percent, according to the study, "Do Changes in the Economy Impact Orthopaedic Trauma Volume?" Unemployment rates peaked in 2002 at 5.4 percent, declined to 3.3 percent in 2006, and rose again in 2009 to 10.7 percent. While general trauma volume increased during the later years, there was a significant negative association between orthopaedic trauma volume and county unemployment rates of the previous year.