Ever wonder if your home state is more prone to certain unique injury types? Digital health firm Amino is here to satisfy your curiosity.
The firm, which uses data analytics to provide health care comparison shopping resources, sifted through mountains of insurance claims data from between 2012 and 2016 and banded various medical billing codes into easily identifiable injury types. (Billing codes are notoriously specific.)
Open wounds and bruising were the top injury types in every state except for Colorado, where falls are the predominant source of physical malaise.
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Amino went one step further to produce a map of the most distinctive, as opposed to the most common, injury types across America. As the firm explains in a blog post, it did so by comparing injury recurrence rates in each state and comparing those figures against the national average.
The results provide a fascinating glimpse into how a state’s culture and geographic location can affect medical injuries. Some are fairly obvious — motor vehicle accidents in auto-driven California — while others raise intriguing questions. For instance, why are there so many suffocations in New Mexico and other mountain states?
Amino attempted to address that very question.
“[T]he vast majority of “suffocation” diagnoses were for hypoxemia, the medical term for low blood oxygen,” wrote Olivia Marcus, Amino’s resident journalist. “Interestingly, hypoxemia can be caused by exertion at high altitudes, where oxygen is scarce. We can’t prove that this is correlated to the altitude of Mountain states, but it could be related.”
As for all those sprained hands in Maryland? The world may just never know.