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

21 Scopus citations


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


  • 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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