Online Program

Differential characteristics of unintentional poisoning deaths by main drug classes

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tracy Young, MS, Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center, Iowa City, IA
Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, MPH, Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Binnie LeHew, MSW, BS, Lucas State Office Building, Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, IA
James Torner, Ph.D., College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Background/Purpose: Unintentional poisoning (UP) is a growing public health problem with steadily rising number of deaths. From 2002-2011, deaths from UP have risen from 67 to 199 deaths (197% increase). The primary cause of death in 2011 was from illicit drugs, other medications, and alcohol. The purpose is to examine differences in rates and increased odds in UP deaths across age, gender, and population size by drug class.

Methods: All UP deaths were obtained from Iowa Death Certificates (2009-2011). Main drug classes focused on included illicit drugs, other medications, and alcohol. Bivariate analyses of age, gender, and population size by drug class were performed. Rates of each drug class were calculated for covariates. Logistic regression was used to identify covariates associated with UP deaths among the three drug classes.

Results/Outcomes: There were 462 UP deaths in Iowa. Rates were higher in males across drug class, ages 25-44 for illicit drugs and other medications, and among urban populations for illicit drugs and in rural populations for other medications. Adjusted odds for alcohol-related poisoning deaths were 2.2 times more likely for males and half as likely to occur among those aged 25-44 than other medications. And those living in urban areas were 2.3 times more likely to die from illicit drug poisonings than other medications.

Conclusion: Males and those in urban populations were at increased risk of UP deaths and further investigation is warranted to determine the reason and means of prevention and control of poisoning deaths in this group.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of examining unintentional poisoning deaths in Iowa. Demonstrate the magnitude of unintentional poisoning deaths overall and by main drug classes. Describe the variation of unintentional poisoning deaths across age, gender, and population size by drug class.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the area of injury prevention and control with focus on many causes of injury including poisonings for the past 14 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.