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Young drinkers needing hospital much more prone to injury later

Young people who drink to the extent that they need to be admitted to hospital are at a much higher risk of sustaining injuries in the following six months, researchers say

Young people who drink to the extent that they need to be admitted to hospital are at a much higher risk of sustaining injuries in the following six months, researchers say.

They are seven times more likely to have an injury requiring a hospital stay within six months, and 15 times more likely to be injured in the first month, the University of Nottingham researchers found.

The researchers analysed primary care medical records and hospital admission records of 120,000 people aged 10-24 between 1998 and 2013.

In the subsequent six months, 18.9% of the 11,000 in the alcohol admission cohort were found to have been injured, compared with 2.6% of the non-alcohol cohort.

Harm reduction programmes

Common injuries included poisoning, being struck by a falling object or being hit by another person.

The risk was highest in females

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Picture: Alamy

Young people who drink to the extent that they need to be admitted to hospital are at a much higher risk of sustaining injuries in the following six months, researchers say.

They are seven times more likely to have an injury requiring a hospital stay within six months, and 15 times more likely to be injured in the first month, the University of Nottingham researchers found.

The researchers analysed primary care medical records and hospital admission records of 120,000 people aged 10-24 between 1998 and 2013.

In the subsequent six months, 18.9% of the 11,000 in the alcohol admission cohort were found to have been injured, compared with 2.6% of the non-alcohol cohort.

Harm reduction programmes

Common injuries included poisoning, being struck by a falling object or being hit by another person.

The risk was highest in females aged 17-24 and in those financially worse off.

The researchers are urging healthcare providers to implement evidence-based primary and secondary injury prevention and harm reduction programmes.

One of the authors, public health consultant and University of Nottingham associate professor Elizabeth Orton, said: ‘Current interventions focus on drinking habits rather than preventing specific outcomes related to alcohol.

‘This new data will allow the advice to be specifically tailored.’


Lester L et al (2017) Alcohol Misuse and Injury Outcomes in Young People Aged 10–24. Journal of Adolescent Health. doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.10.003

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