Objective: To investigate the relationship between usual and acute alcohol consumption among injured patients and, when combined, how they covary with other injury attributes.
Methods: Data from a randomised sample of 486 injured patients interviewed in an emergency department (Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland) were analysed using the χ2 test for independence and cluster analysis.
Results: Acute alcohol consumption (24.7%) was associated with usual drinking and particularly with high volumes of consumption. Six injury clusters were identified. Over-representations of acute consumption were found in a cluster typical of injuries sustained through interpersonal violence and in another formed by miscellaneous circumstances. A third cluster, typical of sports injuries, was linked to a group of frequent heavy episodic drinkers (without acute consumption).
Conclusions: Among injured patients, acute alcohol consumption is common and associated with usual drinking. Acute and/or usual consumption form part of some, but not all, injury clusters.
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Competing interests: None.
Funding: The study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (3200B0-105967). HK is in receipt of a fellowship for prospective researchers provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant PBSKB-119860/1).
A previous version of this paper was presented at the 34th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol, Victoria, Canada (June 2008).
Ethics approval: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee for Clinical Research at the Lausanne University Medical School.
▸ A supplementary table is published online only at http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/vol15/issue4
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