Volume 21 (2011) Issue 4 Pages 305-308
Background: Bathing is a deeply ingrained custom among Japanese; however, data on the incidence rate of symptoms and accidents during bathing have not yet been reported for the Japanese general public.
Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of 617 Japanese adults who attended a specialized health checkup. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire to assess weekly frequencies of bathtub bathing and showering and the frequency of symptoms/accidents (falling, loss of consciousness, and other) during these activities in the past year. We calculated the incidence rates of accidents per 10 000 baths/showers and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and compared the clinical characteristics of participants who had symptoms/accidents with those who did not.
Results: The incidence rates of accidents per 10 000 bathtub baths and showers were 0.43 (95% CI: 0.22–0.84) and 0.24 (95% CI: 0.04–1.37). Although these rates are low, there were 740 000 bathtub bathing-related accidents in Japan, due to the fact that bathing is an almost-daily habit. There was no significant difference in clinical characteristics between groups
Conclusions: We collected basic information on the incidence of bathing-related accidents in Japan. Falls and loss of consciousness during bathing or showering can potentially lead to a serious accident, so the general public should be educated about the possibility of such accidents during bathing.