Recent trends in burn epidemiology worldwide: A systematic review

Christian Smolle, Janos Cambiaso-Daniel, Abigail A. Forbes, Paul Wurzer, Gabriel Hundeshagen, Ludwik Branski, Fredrik Huss, Lars Peter Kamolz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Burns have been more prevalent among low socioeconomic populations and in less developed regions. Incredible advances in burn care and social development over the recent decades, however, should have placed the incidence and severity of burns in a downwards trend. The aim of this review was to give an overview on current trends in burn epidemiology across the world. Also the socioeconomic development in countries that have published epidemiological data used in this study has been taken into account when comparing the results. There was a worldwide downwards trend of burn incidence, burn severity, length of hospital stay, and mortality rate. These findings were particularly pronounced in very highly developed countries. Data from highly and medium developed countries were more heterogeneous. No studies could be obtained from low and middle income countries. Comparisons between the different studies were compromised by the fact that studies emerged from specialized facilities on one hand and general hospitals on the other. Analyzed studies were also frequently focusing on limited patient populations such as children or elderly. Our findings indicate the need for an international burn database with a minimal data-set in order to obtain objective and comparable results in respect of burn epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Burn
  • Development
  • Epidemiology
  • Mortality
  • Severity
  • Trend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Smolle, C., Cambiaso-Daniel, J., Forbes, A. A., Wurzer, P., Hundeshagen, G., Branski, L., Huss, F., & Kamolz, L. P. (Accepted/In press). Recent trends in burn epidemiology worldwide: A systematic review. Burns.