Poisoning Hospitalizations Among Texas Adolescents

Age and Gender Differences in Intentional and Unintentional Injury

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Abstract of Journal Article - May 2005  

By Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, PhD, MPH; Antonio René, PhD; and Douglas Mains, DrPH, MBA, MPAff

Using 1999 Hospital Discharge Data, this study examines age and gender differences in the pattern of poisoning hospitalizations of Texas youngsters (N=1246) aged 10 through 17 years and investigates self-inflicted poisoning as a function of age and gender. Nearly three quarters of poisoning admissions are girls and two thirds of admissions are older children (aged 15 through 17 years). Analgesics and psychotropic drugs are the two most common agents used. Nearly 1 in 3 admissions among younger children aged 10 through 14 years and 1 in 2 among older children are due to analgesics, with a higher proportion of female admissions. One quarter of admissions among both age groups are due to psychotropic drugs, with nearly equal proportions of boys and girls. Intentional poisoning admissions are significantly higher among girls in both age groups. Older children are 1½ times more likely than younger children, and girls are 2 times more likely than boys to be at risk for self-inflicted poisoning admissions. Fifty-three percent of female and 39% of male self-inflicted poisoning admissions are due to analgesics. Psychotropic drugs caused 29% of male and 21% of female self-inflicted admissions.

Accidental and intentional poisoning is a public health concern requiring intervention. Residents in family practice and pediatrics need increased training to become proactive in educating adolescents and their parents about the dangers of drug overdosing. 

 

May 2005 Texas Medicine Contents
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