Purpose: Few studies have compared acute use of alcohol in suicide decedents with that in a nonsuicide group. This study provides the first national analysis of acute use of alcohol before suicide compared with an estimate of acute use of alcohol in a living sample.
Methods: Pooled 2003-2011 National Violent Death Reporting System data were used to estimate the prevalence of postmortem blood alcohol content positivity (blood alcohol content >0.0 g/dL) and intoxication (blood alcohol content ≥0.08 g/dL). Population estimates of comparable use of alcohol (within the past 48 hours) were based on the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
Results: Compared with the living sample, male and female suicide decedents showed, respectively, a 1.83-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.73-1.93) and 2.40-fold (95% CI, 2.24-2.57) increased risk of alcohol ingestion before their death after age, race/ethnicity, and chronic alcohol problems were controlled. Furthermore, male and female decedents exhibited, respectively, a 6.18-fold (95% CI, 5.57-6.86) and a 10.04-fold (95% CI, 8.67-11.64) increased risk of being intoxicated before their death after confounders were considered.
Conclusions: The findings underscore the crucial need to include among the essential components of suicide prevention policies programs that minimize the use of alcohol, particularly drinking to intoxication.
Keywords: Alcohol drinking; Epidemiology; Suicide; Toxicology.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.