3166.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - Board 1

Abstract #12104

Alcohol and disabling traumatic injury: Implications according to gender, race, and ethnicity

Pamela Block Lourie, PhD, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Box G-BH, Providence, RI 02912, 401-444-1832, Pamela_Lourie@brown.edu, Beth Bock, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906, and Bruce M. Becker, MD, MPH, Department of Community Health, Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903.

Prevalence of alcohol abuse in disabled populations is much higher than surrounding population norms (Spinal Cord Injury [SCI] - up to 175%; Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] - up to 151%). Alcohol use is a factor in disability onset in 39-50% of SCI cases and 44-66% of TBI cases. This study is designed to answer demographic and etiological questions about trauma patients with a positive blood alcohol level (BAL) who have become disabled as a result of their trauma. Subjects (Men=799; Women=206) were admitted to Rhode Island Hospital between 1991-1999. Demographics: Caucasian=727; Latino=112 Latino; African American=111; Other=54; Mean BAL=183.2 ( 104.8). Etiology: Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)=51.5%; Assaults=21%; Falls=15%; Firearm Violence=3.7%; Attempted Suicides=2.1%; Burns=1.7%; Other=5%. Men (23.4%) were twice as likely as women (11.7%) to be involved in assaults. Women were more likely to show disability upon discharge (63.1%) compared to men (54.1%). Men showed higher BAL (mean=186.8, SE=3.6) than women (mean=169, SE=7.1). Individuals injured through MVA (62.9%), Burns (70.6%) and Falls (67.5%) were more likely to show some disability compared to other categories. Caucasians (187) had lower BALs than Latinos (208) but higher scores than African Americans (150), p<0.001. BALs were highest among Burn victims (252.9 131), people injured in falls and collisions (215.6 119), and attempted suicides (210.7 103) and lowest among injuries involving firearms (97.5, 73), p<0.001. A significant interaction was also observed between disability and ecode for BAL, p<0.05, leading to the conclusion that some causes of trauma are linked to both BAL and disability.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the connection between alcohol use and traumatic injury and disability; 2. Articulate specific implications according to gender, race, and ethnicity

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA