A total of 1083 burn cases hospitalised at a burn center between August 1988 and the end of 1997 were studied retrospectively to determine the factors and demographic features associated with burn injury in Turkey. The means for patient age and percent total body surface area (TBSA) burned were 18.1 years and 31.2%, respectively (medians were 14.0 years and 25.0%, respectively). Burn injuries were more common in winter and spring, and most occurred in the home. The majority of patients were city dwellers, and had been referred from public hospitals. There was a predominance of male patients (71.9%) in the study Population, but the proportions of children and adults were equal. Almost half of the males and the majority of the females were children/students. The vast majority of female adults were housewives, and most of the men were employed outside the home. More than half of the patients suffered second-degree burns, and the others all had deeper burn injuries. The most frequent cause of burn in the study population was flame. Children mainly suffered from scalding, and adults from flame and electrical burns. There were no differences between the sexes regarding depth of burn; whereas percentage total burned surface area was higher in females. Children had a lower mean TBSA and lower rate of third-degree burns. Mortality rate of the study population was 33.5%. The study results identified various risk factors and the groups at high risk for serious burns and indicated some ways that prevention programmes can be improved. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd and ISBI.