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Risk factors for injury in rural Iowa: preliminary data from the Keokuk County Rural Health Study.

Zwerling C; Merchant JA; Reynolds SJ; Burmeister LF; Stromquist AM
J Agromedicine 1997 Aug; 4(3/4):295-302
In this report preliminary data from the Keokuk County Rural Health Study were used to assess the prevalence of risky behaviors among farmers, rural nonfarmers, and townspeople. The Keokuk study was a population based longitudinal study of a rural Iowa county; data on the first 400 participants in the study were used for this investigation. Seat belt usage was far more common among farmers 41 years of age and older than among nonfarmers 41 years and older. Among farmers in general, only 39.9% reported always using seat belts compared with rural nonfarmers (52.8%), or townspeople (53.4%). Both farmers (13%) and townspeople (14.0%) were more likely to have ridden a motorcycle or moped in the last year than rural nonfarm people (4.5%). Farmers (41.7%) were more than twice as likely as rural nonfarmers (19.2%) and townspeople (14.5%) to have ridden all terrain vehicles in the last year. While there were no significant differences between the percentage of farmers (42.0%), rural nonfarmers (35.5%), and townspeople (38.3%) who had been swimming in the last year, among the women, farmers were more likely to have been swimming (50.5%) compared with rural nonfarmers (38.3%) and townspeople (34.4%). Townspeople (41.2%) were one and one half times as likely as farmers (27.1%) or rural nonfarmers (27.3%) to report having bicycled in the last year. In Keokuk Country 78.7% of the men reported having firearms on the premises. Rural male farmers (87.9%) and nonfarmers (93.6%) were more likely than townspeople (68.2%) to report having firearms on the premises. There were no statistically significant differences between farmers, rural nonfarmers, and townspeople in the percentage with alcohol related problems. The early findings suggested that the study will provide guidance in the design of specific rural injury prevention interventions.
NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Demographic-characteristics; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Alcoholism; Risk-factors; Safety-equipment; Epidemiology
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
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Priority Area
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division