This study examined the incidence of alcohol and drugs in a sample of seriously injured motor vehicle collision victims, and differences related to pre-crash use of alcohol and/or other drugs on demographic variables, injury severity measures, and crash variables. The sample selected were all motor vehicle collision admissions to the Regional Trauma Unit at the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto, Ontario, over a 37-month period (N = 854). Prospective demographic and injury-related information were collected from hospital charts, and crash data were collected from motor vehicle collision police reports. Blood samples were routinely collected on admission and tested for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). We found 32.0% of the BAC-tested motor vehicle collision admissions and 35.5% of drivers tested positive for blood alcohol. The drivers' mean BAC on admission was found to be 145.2 mg/100 ml, and the mean estimated BAC at crash time was 181 mg/100 ml. Drug screens were performed on a two-year subsample (n = 474), of whom 339 were drivers. Drug screens revealed that 41.3% of drivers tested positive for other drugs in body fluids, and 16.5% were positive for alcohol in combination with other drugs. Other than alcohol, the drugs most frequently detected in the drivers were cannabinoids (13.9%), benzodiazepines (12.4%), and cocaine (5.3%). Investigation of differences on demographic, injury, and crash characteristics related to precrash use of alcohol and/or drugs yielded significant findings. In the drug screened sample we found sex, admission type, and occupant status were related to precrash alcohol use. Also, use of drugs was found to interact with admission type and mean BAC on admission. Elapsed time was found to be significantly different for BAC by other drug use, with a greater length of elapsed time found for the subjects testing other drug positive but BAC negative. We found that BAC-positive drug-screened drivers were significantly more likely to be male, involved in a single-vehicle collision, not wearing a seat belt, ejected from the vehicle, and travelling at higher speeds than BAC negative drivers. No significant differences were found between BAC and/or other drug use on injury severity measures.
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.
We aimed to assess alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributed disease burden by DALYs (disability adjusted life years) in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) between 1990 and 2013, and explore to what extent these countries have implemented evidence-based alcohol policies during the same time period.
A comparative risk assessment approach and literature review, within a setting of the BRICS countries. Participants were the total populations (males and females combined) of each country. Levels of alcohol consumption, age-standardized alcohol-attributable DALYs per 100?000 and alcohol policy documents were measured.
The alcohol-attributed disease burden mirrors level of consumption in Brazil, Russia and India, to some extent in China, but not in South Africa. Between the years 1990-2013 DALYs per 100 000 decreased in Brazil (from 2124 to 1902), China (from 1719 to 1250) and South Africa (from 2926 to 2662). An increase was observed in Russia (from 4015 to 4719) and India (from 1574 to 1722). Policies were implemented in all of the BRICS countries and the most common were tax increases, drink-driving measures and restrictions on advertisement.
There was an overall decrease in alcohol-related DALYs in Brazil, China and South Africa, while an overall increase was observed in Russia and India. Most notably is the change in DALYs in Russia, where a distinct increase from 1990-2005 was followed by a steady decrease from 2005-2013. Even if assessment of causality cannot be done, policy changes were generally followed by changes in alcohol-attributed disease burden. This highlights the importance of more detailed research on this topic.
Cites: Lancet. 2015 Nov 28;386(10009):2145-91 PMID 26321261
150 males imprisoned for drunken driving were assessed by means of a questionnaire and medical examination. The objectives were to study alcohol consumption and frequency of alcohol-related problems. Half of the assessed persons were less than 30 years of age. 62% had a blood alcohol concentration > 1.50%. 36% had previously been convicted for drunken driving. Average alcohol consumption was 58 gram per day. 40% of the convicted persons reported a consumption of more than 40 gram alcohol per day. Corrected for under-reporting the consumption was even higher. The CAGE questionnaire was positive in 54%, indicating an alcohol-related problem. GGT (gamma-glutamyltransferase) was elevated in 23% and CDT (carbohydrate deficient transferrin) in 35%. This study indicates that 50-60% of convicted drunken drivers were excessive drinkers or/and had alcohol-related problems. Imprisonment and fines seem to have a limited impact on occurrence of drunken driving. Other strategies are discussed.
Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce cardiovascular events, but little is known about its effect on atrial fibrillation in people at high risk of such events. We examined the association between moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of incident atrial fibrillation among older adults with existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
We analyzed data for 30 433 adults who participated in 2 large antihypertensive drug treatment trials and who had no atrial fibrillation at baseline. The patients were 55 years or older and had a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes with end-organ damage. We classified levels of alcohol consumption according to median cut-off values for low, moderate and high intake based on guidelines used in various countries, and we defined binge drinking as more than 5 drinks a day. The primary outcome measure was incident atrial fibrillation.
A total of 2093 patients had incident atrial fibrillation. The age- and sex-standardized incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 14.5 among those with a low level of alcohol consumption, 17.3 among those with a moderate level and 20.8 among those with a high level. Compared with participants who had a low level of consumption, those with higher levels had an increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.26, for moderate consumption; 1.32, 95% CI 0.97-1.80, for high consumption). Results were similar after we excluded binge drinkers. Among those with moderate alcohol consumption, binge drinkers had an increased risk of atrial fibrillation compared with non-binge drinkers (adjusted HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02-1.62).
Moderate to high alcohol intake was associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation among people aged 55 or older with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Among moderate drinkers, the effect of binge drinking on the risk of atrial fibrillation was similar to that of habitual heavy drinking.
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Endogenous estrogens increase the risk of endometrial cancer and are also elevated among women with high alcoholic intake. It is incompletely known, however, whether alcohol intake in general and alcohol abuse in particular increases risk for endometrial cancer. We thus analyzed prospectively the risk for endometrial cancer among 36,856 women hospitalized with alcoholism between 1965 and 1994 through linkages between several national Swedish registers. Compared with the general population, women who were alcoholics had an overall 24% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer, a finding challenging our a priori hypothesis. However, among women below the age of 50 years at follow-up, the mean age of menopause among Swedish women, the risk was 70% higher, whereas the risk among women aged 50 years or more at follow-up was 40% lower compared with the general population. Hence, the effect of alcoholism on endometrial cancer appears to be age dependent.
The net mass transfer (NMT) of cholesteryl esters (CEs), triglycerides (TGs), and phospholipids (PLs) between lipoproteins was measured after incubation of fresh plasma for up to 2 hours from 18 male alcohol abusers and 17 male volunteer control subjects. In alcohol abusers the mean value of CE NMT was 3.7 nmol.mL-1.h-1 from apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins (apoB-containing lipoproteins) to HDL and in control subjects 8.7 nmol.mL-1.h-1 from HDL to apoB-containing lipoproteins. The NMT of PL was higher in alcohol abusers than in control subjects (35.0 vs 11.6 nmol.mL-1.h-1 from apoB-containing lipoproteins to HDL, respectively), and plasma PL transfer protein (TP) activity was 33% higher (P
The purpose was to determine the impact of new immediate roadside prohibitions (IRPs) for drinking drivers introduced in British Columbia in September 2010 as assessed by random roadside surveys of alcohol and drug use among nighttime drivers.
Two roadside surveys were conducted prior to and following the introduction of IRPs. Drivers were randomly selected from the traffic stream in 5 cities and asked to provide a breath sample to determine alcohol content and a sample of oral fluid to be tested for the presence of psychoactive drugs. The survey was conducted between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday through Saturday nights in June 2010 and again in June 2012.
Driving after drinking decreased significantly following the introduction of IRPs. In particular, the percentage of drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) over 80 mg/dL decreased by 59 percent; drivers with BACs of at least 50 mg/dL decreased by 44 percent. The decreases in drinking and driving were not restricted to specific subgroups of drivers but were universal across age groups, sex, and communities. The results also revealed a changing pattern of drinking of driving. For example, the typical pattern of increased drinking and driving on weekend nights was not observed and the prevalence of drinking drivers on the road during late night hours was less than half that found in 2010. The prevalence of drug use by drivers in 2012 did not change from the levels reported in 2010.
The IRP program combined immediate short-term roadside suspensions with vehicle impoundment and monetary penalties to enhance the swiftness, certainty, and perceived severity of sanctions for drinking and driving. The introduction of these measures was associated with a substantial reduction in the prevalence of driving with a BAC over 50 mg/dL and driving with a BAC over 80 mg/dL.
Because of the beneficial effect of estrogens on the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, the factors which influence endogenous postmenopausal estrogen levels are of substantial importance. The major source of postmenopausal estrogen is the aromatization of androgens to estrogens. Because alcohol is reported to increase aromatization rates, the relationship between serum estradiol and moderate alcohol consumption was examined in a group of 128 healthy Pittsburgh postmenopausal women, and a significant direct association was found. In order to address the generalizability of this finding, 3 comparable study populations of healthy postmenopausal women were recruited: 62 in Copenhagen, 34 in Lisbon and 20 in Madrid. Although no association was detected in the Madrid study sample, in both the Copenhagen and Lisbon study populations, not only were estradiol levels significantly increased in alcohol users as compared to abstainers, but also estradiol levels were significantly correlated with total weekly drinks consumed. Based on these findings in study samples of healthy postmenopausal women from Pittsburgh, Copenhagen and Lisbon, we conclude that the increase in estradiol levels seen with moderate alcoholic beverage consumption is not an isolated finding and speculate that moderate alcohol consumption by healthy postmenopausal women may have beneficial effects.