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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1987 Nov;20(2):115-27.

Alcohol consumption and casualties; drinking in the event.

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  • 1Institute of Epidemiology and Behavioral Medicine, Medical Research Institute of San Francisco, Berkeley, CA 94709.


The data reported are from a 20% probability sample (n = 2516) of all adult patients seeking care in the emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital during a 60-day period. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the injured and 18% of the non-injured reported drinking prior to the event. This paper compares the following variables related to drinking-in-the-event for injured and non-injured: drinking places, drinking companions, amount consumed, time lapsed between drinking and the event, effects of drinking and causality attributed by the patient to drinking and the event. When these variables were entered into a logistic regression to evaluate their predictive value on injury status, only time lapsed since the last drink and drug use prior to the event were predictive of injury with both being negatively associated with admission to the emergency room for an injury. Injuries were more likely than non-injuries to occur in close proximity to drinking (44% of injuries occurred in less than 1 h of the last drink), and close to a third of the injured attributed a causal association of drinking with the event, with 60% of these feeling they were drunk at the time of injury.

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