Breaking News
December 18, 2018 - Artificial intelligence and the future of medicine
December 18, 2018 - Montana State doctoral student receives grant for her work to improve neuroscience tool
December 18, 2018 - Early postpartum initiation of opioids associated with persistent use
December 18, 2018 - Russian scientists identify molecular ‘switch’ that could be target for treatment of allergic asthma
December 18, 2018 - Surgeons make more mistakes in the operating room during stressful moments, shows study
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells explode themselves to inform about the danger of invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Malnutrition in children with Crohn’s disease linked with increased risk of surgical complications
December 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Motegrity (prucalopride) for Adults with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)
December 18, 2018 - The long and short of CDK12
December 18, 2018 - CMR Surgical partners with Nicholson Center to launch U.S.-based training program for Versius
December 18, 2018 - Findings reinforce guidelines for cautious use of antipsychotics in younger populations
December 18, 2018 - Study finds new strains of hepatitis C virus in sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - New battery-free, implantable device aids weight loss
December 18, 2018 - Parental alcohol use disorder associated with offspring marital outcomes
December 18, 2018 - Novel Breast Imaging Technique Might Cut Unnecessary Biopsies
December 18, 2018 - What can a snowflake teach us about how cancer spreads in the body?
December 18, 2018 - Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy costs the NHS more than previously thought
December 18, 2018 - Green leafy vegetables may reduce risk of developing liver steatosis
December 18, 2018 - Veganism linked to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition if not planned correctly
December 18, 2018 - Coming Soon: A Tiny Robot You Swallow to Help You Stay Healthy
December 18, 2018 - Modified malaria drug proven effective at inhibiting Ebola
December 18, 2018 - Study finds epigenetic differences in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia
December 18, 2018 - Fitness instructors’ motivational comments influence women’s body satisfaction
December 18, 2018 - Study focuses on modification of lipid nanoparticles for successful brain cell targeting
December 18, 2018 - New gut bacteria may be effective against obesity, metabolic and mental disorders
December 18, 2018 - New two-in-one powder aerosol to upgrade fight against deadly superbugs in lungs
December 18, 2018 - Biofilms feed with swirling flows
December 17, 2018 - Study identifies specific neurological changes related to traumatic brain injury
December 17, 2018 - New study confirms geographic bias in lung allocation for transplant
December 17, 2018 - Research focuses on optimization of solid lipid nanoparticle that encapsulates Vinorelbine bitartrate
December 17, 2018 - Carpal tunnel syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
December 17, 2018 - A novel insulin accelerant
December 17, 2018 - Tips for caring for patients with disabilities, from a mother and physician
December 17, 2018 - Menopause-related sexual, urinary problems tied to worse quality of life
December 17, 2018 - In-school nutrition programs among students limit increases in BMI, finds study
December 17, 2018 - Risk for Hospitalization for Heart Failure Greater With Diabetes
December 17, 2018 - Food assistance may help older adults adhere to diabetes meds
December 17, 2018 - Supporting a family’s goals during a difficult pregnancy
December 17, 2018 - Neurons with Good Housekeeping Are Protected from Alzheimer’s
December 17, 2018 - New approach to tumor analysis could improve prognosis for bowel cancer patients
December 17, 2018 - New ‘epigenetics-based’ cervical cancer test outperforms Pap smear and HPV tests
December 17, 2018 - Ten year follow-up after negative colonoscopy related to reduced risk of colorectal cancer
December 17, 2018 - CTF along with NTAP and Sage announce first-ever open data portal for neurofibromatosis
December 17, 2018 - Intimacy: The Elusive Fountain of Youth?
December 17, 2018 - Will saliva translate to a real diagnostic tool?
December 17, 2018 - DFG establishes nine new Research Units and one new Clinical Research Unit
December 17, 2018 - Assisted living’s breakneck growth leaves patient safety behind
December 17, 2018 - America’s teens report dramatic increase in their use of vaping devices in just one year
December 17, 2018 - Enlarged heart linked to a higher risk of dementia
December 17, 2018 - Prostate cancer detection using MRI now first-line investigation tool
December 17, 2018 - Loughborough academics part of new project investigating effectiveness of personalized breast cancer screening
December 17, 2018 - Adolescents who use cognitive reappraisal had better metabolic measures, shows study
December 17, 2018 - Probiotics may offer therapeutic benefits for biopolar patients
December 17, 2018 - Stealth BioTherapeutics Granted Fast Track Designation for Elamipretide for the Treatment of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration with Geographic Atrophy
December 17, 2018 - Studies reveal role of red meat in gut bacteria, heart disease development
December 17, 2018 - Eisai enters into agreement with Eurofarma for its anti-obesity agent lorcaserin
December 17, 2018 - Researchers use brain connectome to reassess neuroimaging findings of Alzheimer’s disease
December 17, 2018 - “Miracle” baby survives Ebola in Congo and rapid a new Ebola detection device
December 17, 2018 - Mechanisms behind neonatal diabetes uncovered
December 17, 2018 - AHF urges the WHO to expedite approval process for vaccine effective against Ebola
December 17, 2018 - Study finds misuse of benzodiazepines to be highest among young adults
December 17, 2018 - TGen receives PayPal grant to underwrite costs of genetic tests for children with rare disorders
December 17, 2018 - New research highlights why HIV-infected patients suffer higher rates of cancer
December 17, 2018 - Antibiotic-resistant bacteria could soon be targeted with Alzheimer’s drug
December 17, 2018 - Rutgers scientists take an important step in making diseased hearts heal themselves
December 17, 2018 - Tailored Feedback at CRC Screen Improves Lifestyle Behaviors
December 17, 2018 - Loss of two genes drives a deadly form of colorectal cancer, reveals a potential treatment
December 17, 2018 - How the Mediterranean Diet Can Help Women’s Hearts
December 17, 2018 - Sustained connections associated with symptoms of autism
December 17, 2018 - Concussion rates among young football players were higher than previously reported
December 17, 2018 - Cresco Labs granted approval to operate marijuana dispensary in Ohio
December 17, 2018 - Study provides insight into health risks facing new mothers
December 17, 2018 - AMSBIO expands Wnt signaling pathway product range to aid research
December 16, 2018 - Surgical treatment unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients
December 16, 2018 - Excess weight responsible for cancers globally finds report
December 16, 2018 - Regular sex associated with greater enjoyment of life in seniors
December 16, 2018 - Social stigma contributes to poor mental health in the autistic community
December 16, 2018 - Multidisciplinary team successfully performs complex surgery on patient suffering from enlarged skull
December 16, 2018 - Experts analyze data that can guide antidepressant discontinuation
December 16, 2018 - Menlo Therapeutics’ Successful Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Serlopitant Demonstrates Reduction of Pruritus Associated with Psoriasis
Study quantifies links between alcohol, drug use and violent deaths

Study quantifies links between alcohol, drug use and violent deaths

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A group of researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil recently published the results of a study on the links between alcohol and drug use and the occurrence of violent deaths.

The study supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP quantifies these links for the case of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. It shows that the consumption of alcohol or at least one type of drug correlated with more than half (55%) the violent deaths that occurred in the city between June 2014 and December 2015.

The study resulted from the postdoctoral research of epidemiologist Gabriel Andreuccetti, supervised by Heráclito Barbosa de Carvalho, a professor in FM-USP’s Department of Preventive Medicine, in collaboration with the same university’s Department of Legal Medicine and the University of California Berkeley (USA) and with the support of São Paulo’s Forensics Institute (IML) and funding from FAPESP. The article was published in the journal Injury.

To obtain data for the study, Andreuccetti used a probabilistic sampling method with the city of Sao Paulo as the target population. “We studied fatally injured adult victims who had a sudden, unexpected, violent or otherwise nonnatural cause of death, taking samples from the main forensic medical facilities that serve the city of São Paulo and its 96 districts,” he told.

Under Brazilian law, the body of anyone who dies suddenly, unexpectedly or violently must be autopsied by a medical examiner. Some 7,000 deaths matching this requirement occur annually in São Paulo, mostly homicides (26%), traffic-related deaths (20%) and suicides (12%).

To obtain a representative sample of violent deaths in São Paulo, Andreuccetti collected blood from bodies during autopsies at morgues across the city on different weekdays and at different times of day during a 19-month period in 2014-15.

Victims who had received six or more hours of medical treatment for injuries or survived for a similar period before succumbing were excluded from the sample.

“Many seriously injured people die in the hospital and are taken to the morgue,” Andreuccetti said. “In many cases, the fatal injury occurred suddenly or violently, and the victim may have been under the effect of drugs at the time of the accident, crime or suicide, but if they’re hospitalized for more than six hours, the alcohol and drugs in their bloodstream may have been affected since the traumatic event. These cases were therefore excluded from the study.”

The final sample comprised 365 bodies taken to the morgue after violent, sudden or unexpected death due to homicide (104 or 28.5% of the total), accident (56 or 15.3%), suicide (44 or 12.1%), falling (26 or 7.1%) or poisoning (21 or 5.8%). Violent or sudden death due to other causes accounted for 114 cases (31.2%).

“Owing to various government measures implemented at the start of the decade [2010], road traffic mortality in São Paulo has fallen considerably, and homicide mortality has fallen since the previous decade. Today, the death rate from homicide is higher than that from traffic mortality.

However, São Paulo is an exception. In Brazil overall, these fluctuations have been far smaller, and the death rate from these two causes remains high,” Andreuccetti said.

Male and young

Having established the situations in which the deaths occurred, the next step was to identify the victims with alcohol and/or drugs in the bloodstream. This process entailed subjecting blood samples from all victims to comprehensive screening for the use of a range of drugs and alcohol-related compounds.

Blood alcohol concentration was measured by headspace gas chromatography. The presence of other drugs, including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, opioids/opiates (methadone, morphine, and heroin, among others) and phencyclidine (angel dust), was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantified by mass spectrometry.

Of the 365 victims, 55.3% (202) had consumed alcohol or drugs before dying: 63 had used only alcohol and 92 only drugs, while 47 had used both. “One in two victims had alcohol and/or drugs in their blood. So half used alcohol or drugs, or both, shortly before they died,” Andreuccetti said.

Alcohol was the most prevalent substance found, followed by cocaine, cannabis, and benzodiazepines. More specifically, among the 202 victims with alcohol and/or drugs in their blood, 30.1% had used alcohol, 21.9% cocaine, 14% cannabis and 11.5% benzodiazepines, while 16.2% had used both alcohol and one of these drugs. “We hadn’t expected such a high prevalence of drug use in the sample. For every five victims who used drugs, four used cocaine or cannabis. This is cause for concern,” Andreuccetti said.

In the case of traffic-related deaths, 42.9% of the victims had used alcohol, while one in five (21.4%) had used two or more drugs. “Interpersonal violence tends to be influenced more by drug use, whereas traffic accidents are influenced more by alcohol use,” Andreuccetti said.

In the case of homicides, drugs or alcohol were found in no fewer than 59.6% of the blood samples analyzed, with 16.3% containing both alcohol and cocaine.

Suicides used alcohol less than all other categories: only 9.1% of the samples from suicides were found to contain alcohol. On the other hand, benzodiazepine use was among the highest in this group, accounting for 18.2%.

Men were far and away the majority among victims who were alcohol and drug users, and a significant proportion were young: nine in ten of the 202 victims in question were male, and roughly one in three were under 30. “This is the age group with the largest proportion of homicide victims in Brazil, and in our study, the use of other drugs, alone or with alcohol, was also most prevalent in this group,” Andreuccetti said.

A breakdown by ethnicity shows that half the victims (50.3%) were white and the rest (49.7%) were brown (“pardo”), black or classed in another ethnic category. The study also found that 60.5% of the deaths examined took place between 6 pm and 6 am. More people die violently at night than during the day in São Paulo City.

Criminal record

A revealing finding is that 15.9% of all the victims sampled had a criminal record. Alcohol and drug use combined was higher among these than it was among victims with no criminal record.

Whenever possible, Andreuccetti noted the city district where the victim’s fatal injury occurred. As a result, the study inferred that most violent deaths while the victims were under the influence of drugs occurred in the city center or the outlying suburbs, areas where most commerce establishments and most low-income households are located, respectively.

“This suggests there’s a socioeconomic component, but a specific study would be needed to find out more,” he said. “On the other hand, alcohol use associated with these deaths appears to be more disseminated throughout São Paulo City.

“Knowledge of these statistics is important, he added, to any effort to reduce the number of violent deaths linked to alcohol and drug use in São Paulo and other large cities. “All these deaths are extremely harmful to society in terms of the cost of hospital and emergency services, not to mention the suffering they cause families and the significance of losing to violence a person who could have continued working, studying and producing,” he said.

Source:

http://agencia.fapesp.br/study-highlights-correlations-between-violent-death-and-substance-use/29129/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles