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Public Health. 2012 Jan;126(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2011.09.011. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Frequent methamphetamine injection predicts emergency department utilization among street-involved youth.

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  • 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Methamphetamine (MA) use has been associated with health problems that commonly present in the emergency department (ED). This study sought to determine whether frequent MA injection was a risk factor for ED utilization among street-involved youth.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

METHODS:

Data were derived from a street-involved youth cohort known as the 'At Risk Youth Study'. Behavioural data including MA use were linked to ED records at a major inner-city hospital. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards methods were used to determine the risk factors for ED utilization.

RESULTS:

Between September 2005 and January 2007, 427 eligible participants were enrolled, among whom the median age was 21 (interquartile range 19-23) years and 154 (36.1%) were female. Within 1 year, 163 (38.2%) visited the ED, resulting in an incidence density of 53.7 per 100 person-years. ED utilization was significantly higher among frequent (i.e. ≥daily) MA injectors (log-rank P = 0.004). In multivariate analysis, frequent MA injection was associated with an increased hazard of ED utilization (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.84, 95% confidence interval 1.04-3.25; P = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS:

Street-involved youth who frequently inject MA appear to be at increased risk of ED utilization. The integration of MA-specific addiction treatment services within emergency care settings for high-risk youth is recommended.

Copyright © 2011 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22133669
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3246028
Free PMC Article

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