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HOME > J Korean Soc Traumatol > Volume 22(2); 2009 > Article
Drinking Pattern and Nonfatal Injuries of Adults in Korea
Won Kyung Lee, Yoon Kim
Journal of Trauma and Injury 2009;22(2):233-241
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
2Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.

Alcohol is a major risk factor for injuries, but little is known about the relationship between chronic drinking pattern and injuries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of alcohol-related injuries and the differences in the characteristics of the injuries between Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) categories.
Among a representative sample of the third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 7,697 adults answered questions about injuries, drinking patterns, and socioeconomic status. Incidences of alcohol-related injuries and of non-alcohol-related injuries were calculated, and the relative ratio of injuries between AUDIT categories was analyzed.
The incidences of all injuries and alcohol-related injuries were 69.2 and 6.8 per 1000 person-year. After adjustment, the incidences of non-alcohol-related injuries showed no differences between AUDIT categories. But the adjusted relative ratios (RRs) of alcohol-related injuries were 3.73 (95% CI: 1.54~8.99) and 7.70 (95% CI: 3.61~16.44) for risk drinkers and for alcohol-dependent drinkers respectively. No specific body part could be identified as being frequently injured in cases of risk drinkers and alcohol-dependent drinkers. In contrast, the adjusted RRs of fractures, bruises, and open wounds were 1.76 (95% CI: 1.03~3.02), 1.73 (95% CI: 1.15~2.61), and 1.85 (95% CI: 1.17~2.93) for alcohol-dependent drinkers. Assaults occurred 4.66 times more frequently in alcohol-dependent drinkers.
Alcohol-related injuries occur more frequently as the person becomes more dependent on alcohol. Fractures, Bruises, open wounds, and assaults occur more frequently in alcohol-dependent drinker. This study suggests that efforts should be carried out in the ED to screen and treat alcohol-use disorders associated with patients injured after drinking.

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