Home » News » Drinking Increases Injury Risk

Drinking Increases Injury Risk

The first six hours after drinking carry a four-fold increase in risk for physical injuries, finds a University of Queensland study. Furthermore, a 2.5 times increased risk of harm from events such as falls, cuts, burns, assaults, head injuries, near drowning, etc. continue for the next 24 hours.

Dr Kerrianne Watt, who studied for her PhD with UQ’s School of Population Health, said her results might seem obvious but there had been few studies about drinking and all injuries, not just those from car crashes. “There are a whole variety of other alcohol-related injuries that we need to worry about and take notice of. We have been conditioned to think I’m drinking but not driving, I’m fine, I don’t need to worry about anything, but that’s not necessarily true.”

Her findings include:

Quantity and specific drinks such as beer or spirits did not increase injury risk but mixing drinks increased injury risk five-fold.

Binge drinkers were more at risk of being injured than regular drinkers.

And people who sustained serious injuries were more likely to have consumed beer and have been drinking in a licensed premises.

Watt informs that previous studies had not taken into account other possible explanations for injury such as drug use and risk-taking behaviour.

Dr Watt’s results came from interviewing about 500 people who were admitted into the Gold Coast Hospital Emergency Department between October 2000 and October 2001.

Patients, aged 16 years and above, were asked about their injuries which varied from head injuries, falls, assaults, cuts, piercings, choking, burns and near drownings.

They were asked how they were injured, where they were injured and the severity.

The most common injuries were falls, being hit by or against something and car and motorbike crashes.

The highest blood alcohol reading was .31%.

“Car crashes are important and we need to continue to care about those,” Dr Watt said.

“But this research indicates that drinking alcohol increases all types of injury, not just car crashes.

Some venues have banned serving some drinks such as rum because of a perception that it makes drinkers aggressive.

“My findings suggest that it’s not a property of the beverage that increases aggression and risk of injury, it’s more a personality characteristic that is attracted to a certain type of alcohol,” Dr Watt said.

“We have anecdotally seen that some beverages, for instance spirits, result in increased risk of injury.

“But we haven’t known whether it’s because people who drink spirits drink more alcohol, because they have a particular personality type or because they engage in more risky behaviour.”

Source: Research Australia

Drinking Increases Injury Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). Drinking Increases Injury Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/07/24/drinking-increases-injury-risk/121.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Jun 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jun 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.