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Publication date: 
December 19, 2019


Past research has shown how fires, heat, and hot substances are important causes of health loss globally. Detailed estimates of the morbidity and mortality from these injuries could help drive preventive measures and improved access to care.


We used the Global Burden of Disease 2017 framework to produce three main results. First, we produced results on incidence, prevalence, years lived with disability, deaths, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life years from 1990 to 2017 for 195 countries and territories. Second, we analyzed these results to measure mortality-to-incidence ratios by location. Third, we reported the measures above in terms of the cause of fire, heat, and hot substances and the types of bodily injuries that result.


Globally, there were 8,991,468 (7,481,218 to 10,740,897) new fire, heat, and hot substance injuries in 2017 with 120,632 (101,630 to 129,383) deaths. At the global level, the age-standardized mortality caused by fire, heat, and hot substances significantly declined from 1990 to 2017, but regionally there was variability in age-standardized incidence with some regions experiencing an increase (e.g., Southern Latin America) and others experiencing a significant decrease (e.g., high-income North America).


The incidence and mortality of injuries that result from fire, heat, and hot substances affect every region of the world but are most concentrated in middle- and lower-income areas. More resources should be invested in measuring these injuries as well as in improving infrastructure, advancing safety measures, and ensuring access to care.



James SL, Lucchesi LR, Bisignano C, et al. Epidemiology of injuries from fire, heat and hot substances: global, regional and national morbidity and mortality estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 study. Injury Prevention. 19 December 2019; 0:1-10. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043299.