Publication Detail

Stockwell, T., R., McLeod, R., Stevens, M., A., Phillips, M., Webb, M. and Jelinek, G. (2002). Alcohol consumption, setting, gender and activity as predictors of injury: a population-based case-control study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 63, (3), pp. 372-379. [RJ369]

A case-control design was employed to quantify the risk of injury after the recent consumption of alcohol and as a function of setting, concurrent activity and usual drinking habits. A total of 797 cases and 797 controls were interviewed. The response rate was 83% for eligible cases approached for an interview. Cases were injured patients from a hospital Emergency Department. Controls were matched on suburb and were interviewed at home regarding activities leading up to the time of their matched cases injury. The self-report data on alcohol consumption were largely consistent with both medical records and breathalyser tests. Drinking any alcohol and using prescribed medication in the prior 6 hours were both associated with significantly increased risk of injury when controlling for demographic and setting variables. Use of illicit drugs (mainly cannabis) was associated with reduced risk of injury. Setting (e.g. recreational, work setting) and activity (e.g. playing sport, travelling, working) variables were also independently associated with risk of injury. The risk of injury for women was significantly elevated for any consumption of alcohol but for men it was only when consumption exceeded 90g. These data confirm earlier findings that risk of injury for women for a given level of consumption is greater than for men. They extend earlier findings by identifying significant setting, activity and drug use variables predictive of injury. In addition, when these latter variables are controlled, it is found that for women, but not men, the risk of injury is significantly elevated even at low levels of alcohol intake.

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