In-hospital mortality from traumatic injuries decreased with higher blood alcohol content.
PROBLEM: Sure, being intoxicated increases your odds of ending the evening in the ER, with the association strengthened for those who alcohol makes want to climb things and/or jump from high places. If you insist on driving while drunk, it's basically guaranteed. But how does having alcohol in your system affect your chances of making it back out alive?
- If You're 'Keen to Stay Cheery,' 7 Fruits and Vegetables a Day
- Writers Are Twice as Likely to Commit Suicide
- Farm Stank Is Bad for Your Health
METHODOLOGY: Lee Friedman of the UIC School of Public Health analyzed data from the Illinois Trauma Registry, encompassing 190,612 patients who were treated at trauma centers and tested for blood alcohol content (BAC) between 1995 and 2005. He looked specifically at the relationship between BAC and in-hospital mortality following physical injuries.
RESULTS: For the 6,733 deaths that occurred in the trauma units, increased BAC was associated with increased odds of survival -- there was up to a 50 percent reduction in fatalities for those at the highest levels of intoxication. Controlling for a myriad of personal and medical factors, this relationship was strongest for those who had suffered penetrating injuries; similar curves were seen for people with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries in the torso, and blunt injuries. No association was found for people with burn injuries.