Scand J Caring Sci; 2010 Unintentional injuries among older adults in northern Sweden - a one-year population-based study Aim: To study the epidemiology of unintentional injuries in a population of 21 000 Swedish older adults (65+) and to compare the injury incidence with similar data collected two decades earlier. Method: This is a retrospective epidemiologic cross-sectional study based on a 1-year data set of all the 1753 registered injury events from a well-defined population. Result: The injury rate per 1000 individuals was three times higher in the 85+ age group than in the 65-74 age group. The rate was also higher in women than in men aged 75 and older. Fractures, especially on lower and upper extremities, were the most common injuries. Falls in residential care facilities caused the most serious injuries. In transport areas, pedestrian falls and bicyclist crashes were much more common than car crashes. Of the 1753 people injured, 42% were treated as inpatients for a total of 11 569 days; 86% of these days were caused by injury events in the home (57%) or in residential care facilities (29%). Our 65+ age group occupied 69% of all hospital bed-days for trauma in all ages (0-102 years). Conclusion: Over the last two decades, the injury and fracture rate per 1000 individuals has increased by 40-50%, especially in the older age groups. During this time, the nursing strategy for older adults has changed in Sweden. As a result, more people live in their homes nowadays. This increase is distressing especially when we consider the current knowledge of preventive measures. The high number and proportion (>2/3) of inpatient trauma days for these age groups are a heavy burden for the medical sector. These facts call for more effective preventive measures, especially in the home and in residential care facilities, to minimize the negative health effects and the rising health costs.