Drinking history and risk of fatal injury: Comparison among specific injury causes

Li Hui Chen, Susan P. Baker, Guohua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of acute alcohol use on injury risk is well documented, but the relationship between drinking history and fatal injury has not been adequately studied. The authors performed a case-control analysis to explore the association between drinking history and specific causes of fatal injury. Cases (n = 5549) were persons who died from injury, selected from the 1993 National Mortality Followback Survey (NMFS); controls (n = 42,698) were a representative sample of the general population, selected from the 1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (NLAES). Current drinkers comprised 59% of the cases compared with 44% of the controls. After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, employment, and drug use, the odds ratio (OR) of dying from drowning for current drinkers was 3.48 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.94, 6.25), the highest among all causes of injury studied. The lowest adjusted odds ratio associated with current drinking was for falls (OR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.82). Being a current drinker increased the risk of dying from suicide more for females (OR = 4.04; 95% CI = 1.64, 9.93) than for males (OR = 1.45; 95% CI = 1.20, 1.74). The authors conclude that drinking history is associated with a significantly increased risk of all types of fatal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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