Alcohol and non-traffic unintended injuries

Addiction. 1993 Jul;88(7):877-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1993.tb02105.x.


In a review of the English language literature on alcohol and unintentional injury we identified 21 studies on falls, 36 on drownings and 32 on burns from 1947-1986. The proportion of fatal and non-fatal fall victims who had been drinking ranged from 21-77%, and 18-53% respectively. In three more recent studies, 35-63% of persons fatally injured in falls had been drinking. In five other studies 13-37% of persons injured in non fatal falls had been drinking. In our earlier review of drowning studies with complete ascertainment and duration of submergence specified, 27-47% of those who drowned had positive BAC's. In eight subsequent studies, alcohol was identified in 21-47% of drowning deaths. In our earlier review alcohol was involved in 9-86% of burn deaths. In five more recent US studies, alcohol was found in 12-61% of fatally injured burn victims. Case control studies are needed to establish whether alcohol increases the risk of trauma. Studies are also needed of interventions to reduce the proportion of these injuries where alcohol is involved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Burns / etiology
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / epidemiology
  • Drowning / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology