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Alcohol and unnatural deaths in Sweden: a medico-legal autopsy study.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Forensic Medicine.
2000 (English)In: Journal of Studies on Alcohol, ISSN 0096-882X, Vol. 61, no 4, p. 507-14Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To investigate alcohol involvement in all types of unnatural deaths in Sweden. METHOD: All cases of unnatural death that underwent medico-legal autopsies (1992-1996) in Sweden were analyzed (N = 15,630; i.e., 68% of all unnatural deaths). Alcohol was regarded as contributing to the death if: (1) there was any indication that the deceased was a "known alcoholic"; (2) the underlying or contributing causes of death were alcohol-related; (3) the deceased had alcohol-related inpatient diagnosis during a period of 3 years prior to death; or (4) the case tested positive for blood alcohol. RESULTS: Thirty-nine percent of the blood-tested cases (n = 13,099) were positive for alcohol. Almost 40% of the unnatural deaths were associated with alcohol. Alcohol involvement was most common in the intoxication group (84%), followed by the "undetermined" (65%), homicide (55%), fall (48%), fire (44%), asphyxia (41%), suicide (35%) and traffic (22%) groups. More than half (52%) of the deaths in the age group 30-60 years, 35% of those aged 0-29 years and 25% of those aged 60 and over were associated with alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: In Sweden, two of five unnatural deaths are associated with alcohol; this is a conservative estimate. Alcohol-associated mortality varies considerably between different groups of external causes of death, between men and women, and with age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 61, no 4, p. 507-14
Keyword [en]
Accidents/*mortality, Adult, Aged, Alcohol Drinking/blood/*mortality, Alcoholism/blood/*mortality, Analysis of Variance, Automobile Driving/statistics & numerical data, Cause of Death, Chi-Square Distribution, Death; Sudden/*epidemiology, Female, Homicide/statistics & numerical data, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Suicide/statistics & numerical data, Sweden/epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13498PubMedID: 10928720OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-13498DiVA, id: diva2:153169
Available from: 2007-05-10 Created: 2007-05-10 Last updated: 2011-01-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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