Alcohol and injuries: Study on the Population treated in Emergency Departments in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

María del Carmen Gogeascoechea-Trejo , Silvia María Méndez-Maín , Guillermina Natera-Rey , María Sobeida Leticia Blázquez-Morales , Xóchitl de San Jorge-Cárdenas , Sandra Treviño-Siller



Introduction. Excessive alcohol consumption has escalated in recent decades, primarily in adolescents over 15 years of age. This situation can lead to an increase in social and health problems such as intentional violence-related injuries or unintentional injuries caused by accidents.

Objective. To identify the association between alcohol and injuries in patients treated in the emergency department and its relationship with certain sociodemographic characteristics.

Method. Cross-sectional study conducted in the emergency department of two hospitals in Xalapa, Veracruz (Mexico), between September and December 2013. Injured patients aged 15 years and over were administered a questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were performed in order to calculate the odds ratio.

Results. Among the 505 patients surveyed, 28.9% reported having consumed alcohol prior to injury. Patients who used alcohol (OR = 2.42, 95% CI: 1.36-4.31) and those who were men (OR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.12-4.84) had a higher probability of severe injuries. Patients injured during night hours (OR = 3.56, 95% CI: 2.20-5.77) aged 15 to 29 years old (OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.05-2.70), and in the range between 6 to 15 cups of alcohol consumed (OR = 4.40, 95% CI: 2.17-8.90) showed a higher probability of violence-related injuries.

Discussion and conclusion. The study showed the relationship between alcohol consumption and injuries. It is necessary to develop public policies that promote responsible drinking. These policies should emphasize controlling the harmful use of alcohol, particularly during weekends and at night, in order to contribute to the prevention of injuries and its complications, which can sometimes be fatal.


Alcohol; injuries; violence; accidents; emergency department