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Trends in alcohol-related injury admissions in adolescents in Western Australia and England: population-based cohort study

29 May 2017

Background

Alcohol-related harm in young people is now a global health priority. We examined trends in hospital admissions for alcohol-related injuries for adolescents in Western Australia (WA) and in England, identified groups most at risk and determined causes of injuries.

Methods

Annual incidence rates for alcohol-related injury rates were calculated using population-level hospital admissions data for WA and England. We compared trends in different types of alcohol-related injury by age and gender.

Results

Despite a decrease in the overall rate of injury admissions for people aged 13–17 years in WA, alcohol-related injuries have increased significantly from 1990 to 2009 (from 8 to 12 per 10 000). Conversely, alcohol-related injury rates have declined in England since 2007. In England, self-harm is the most frequently recorded cause of alcohol-related injury. In WA, unintentional injury is most common; however, violence-related harm is increasing for boys and girls.

Conclusion

Alcohol-related harm of sufficient severity to require hospital admission is increasing among adolescents in WA. Declining trends in England suggest that this trend is not inevitable or irreversible. More needs to be done to address alcohol-related harm, and on-going monitoring is required to assess the effectiveness of strategies.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open