What is the global prevalence of frostbite?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020
  • Author: Bobak Zonnoor , MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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In the civilian population, the largest published series reviewed a 12-year experience in Saskatchewan, which noted alcohol intoxication and psychiatric illness as the leading risk factors for frostbite incidence and severity. [27] In Finland, authors calculated an annual occurrence of frostbite of 2.2% and a lifetime risk of 44% in military recruits aged 17-30 years. [28]

Among the civilian population in Finland, the annual incidence of frostbite was 2.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. [29] In Montreal, the incidence was 3.2 per 100,000 persons. [30] Among 637 mountaineers queried in Iran, the incidence of frostbite injury was 366 per 1000 persons per year. This appeared to be related mostly to the use of inappropriate clothing or to the incorrect use of equipment. [31]

When compared with the incidence of frostbite in the general population, such data clearly show that an increased risk of frostbite exists for individuals participating in military activities and extreme sports activities.

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