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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, 507-14 p.Article 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, 507-14 p.
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
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13498PubMedID: 10928720OAI: diva2:153169
Available from: 2007-05-10 Created: 2007-05-10 Last updated: 2011-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, AndersAhlm, Kristin
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