Women in India are nearly 40 times more likely to die after being assaulted than their peers in the US, finds a comparative analysis of trauma data from both countries.
In the study, researchers from the University of Washington found three major causes of injury — falls, road traffic accidents and domestic violence.
Indian men were more likely to die after sustaining any one of the three categories of injury than either Indian women or US men and women.
On the other hand, US men were three times as likely to die after sustaining a fall than US women.
However, the greatest disparity in risk of death emerged for Indian and US women who had been assaulted — a difference the researchers described as “unparalleled”.
Domestic violence was found to increase the risk of death in Indian women by nearly 40 times than among the US women.
Importantly, evidence showed that only one in four female victims of assault in India actively seeks care after experiencing intimate partner violence.
In addition, both men and women in the US had between five and seven times lower odds of dying after a fall or a road traffic accident than did their counterparts in India, the researchers said.
“The higher odds of death for Indian females compared with US females suggest that there are other injury and systemic factors that contribute to this discrepancy in mortality odds,” said Mohini Dasari, researcher at the University of Washington.
For the study, published in the online journal BMJ Global Health, the team drew on information submitted to Indian (11,670 cases) and US (14,155 cases) trauma databases for 2013 to 2015.
The Indian database comprised patients from four hospitals in Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, while the US database included patients treated at level 1 trauma centres in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.