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