A case of accidental lethal monochloroacetic acid poisoning is presented, along with a brief review of the mechanisms of intoxication. Although lethal skin exposures have been previously reported, this case appears to be the first instance of oral-route poisoning to be documented.
Low mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) among Eskimos has been attributed to less atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries because of a high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Other investigators attribute this low mortality to the fact that Eskimos have a high mortality from other causes before middle age, when CHD is common. However, most studies have been epidemiological, either by death-certificate review or risk-factor evaluation. We evaluated the extent of atherosclerotic lesions in the coronary arteries and aortas from Alaska Natives. Standardised comparisons between samples from 103 Native and 101 non-native residents show that the extent of raised lesions increases with age in both groups, but the prevalence of raised lesions in native specimens was consistently lower than in those from non-natives. This difference was statistically significant. The data suggest that the differences in CHD mortality between Alaska Natives and non-natives are, at least in part, the result of less atherosclerosis in natives.
A 24-year-old woman committed suicide by amputating her left arm immediately below the shoulder joint with a small kitchen knife. No references to such a suicide were found in an extensive literature search.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that Alaska Natives have fewer atherosclerotic lesions in the coronary arteries and aorta than nonnative Alaska residents. DESIGN: Systematic standardized collection and evaluation of coronary arteries and aortas collected at autopsy. SETTING: Forensic autopsy service in Alaska. SUBJECTS: One hundred thirty Alaska Natives and 115 Alaska nonnatives who underwent forensic autopsy between February 1989 and December 1993. INTERVENTION: None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and extent of atherosclerotic lesions in the aortas and coronary arteries in both populations studied. RESULTS: Alaska Natives had significantly lower prevalence and extent of raised atherosclerotic lesions in the abdominal aorta and coronary arteries than nonnative Alaska residents. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in coronary heart disease mortality between Alaska Natives and nonnatives are, at least in part, the result of fewer atherosclerotic lesions in Alaska Natives.