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Am J Public Health. 1989 March; 79(3): 294–299.
PMCID: PMC1349550

Blood alcohol tests, prevalence of involvement, and outcomes following brain injury.


We collected data on all residents of San Diego County, California who were hospitalized for or died from a brain injury in 1981. The objectives were to assess the frequency of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing and the associations of BAC prevalence with the external cause of the brain injury and case outcome. We found that high BAC levels were most frequent among brain-injured subjects between the ages of 25 and 44 and among those subjects involved in motor vehicle crashes and assaults. Contrary to expectations, injury severity and hospital mortality were inversely related to BAC level, controlling for other predictors. We believe that these inverse associations might be due to differential rates of BAC testing by severity. Among brain-injured survivors with more severe injuries, however, we found that BAC level was positively associated with the prevalence of physician-diagnosed neurological impairment at discharge and with the length of hospitalization.

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Selected References

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