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Background: Given the ageing demographics of most developed countries, understanding the public health impact of mild/moderate road traffic crash injuries in older adults is important. We aimed to determine whether health outcomes (pain severity and quality of life measures) over 24 months differ significantly between older (65+) and younger adults (18–64).
Methods: Prospective cohort study of 364, 284 and 252 participants with mild/moderate injury following a vehicle collision at baseline, 12 and 24 months, respectively. A telephone-administered questionnaire obtained information on socio-economic, pre- and post-injury psychological and heath characteristics.
Results: At baseline, there were 55 (15.1%) and 309 (84.9%) participants aged ≥65 and 18–64 years, respectively. At 12- and 24-month follow-up, older compared to younger participants who had sustained a mild/moderate musculoskeletal injury had lower physical functioning (3.9-units lower Short Form-12 Physical Composite Score, multivariable-adjusted p = 0.03 at both examinations). After multivariable adjustment, older (n = 45) versus younger (n = 207) participants had lower self-perceived health status (8.1-units lower European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions Visual Acuity Scale scores at 24 months, p = 0.03), 24 months later.
Conclusions: Older compared to younger participants who sustained a mild/moderate injury following a road-traffic crash demonstrated poorer physical functioning and general health at 24 months.