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J Forensic Sci. 2011 Jul;56(4):922-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01751.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Alcohol ingestion and age of death in hanging suicides.

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  • 1Forensic Science SA, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.


Retrospective review of 100 consecutive, nondecomposed cases of suicide because of hanging was conducted at Forensic Science SA, Australia. Alcohol was detected in 38 cases (38%). The percentage of victims who had ingested alcohol significantly decreased with age (r(2)=0.81), with alcohol detected in 57.1% of those aged ≤24 years, compared to 28.5% of those aged between 55 and 64 years, and 0% of those aged ≥65 years. A similar linear relationship between alcohol ingestion and age was found for cases with blood alcohol levels >0.05 g/100 mL (r(2)=0.73). The mean ages of those with detectable alcohol (35.2 years) levels >0.05 g/100 mL (35.1 years) and levels >0.1 g/100 mL (37.2 years) were all significantly less than in those with no detectable alcohol (44.4 years) (p<0.005, <0.005, <0.05 respectively). A clear relationship between alcohol ingestion and younger age was shown in hanging suicides.

© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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