Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Abuse Accounts For Third Of Deaths Behind Scotland's Higher Mortality Rate, Study Finds

Date:
July 28, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Drug abuse accounts for a third of the deaths behind Scotland's higher mortality rate, according to a new study. Death rates in Scotland are higher than in England and Wales and the difference between the nations is increasing.

Drug abuse accounts for a third of the deaths behind Scotland's higher mortality rate, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Death rates in Scotland are higher than in England and Wales and the difference between the nations is increasing. Traditionally this has been blamed on the higher levels of deprivation in Scotland. Yet over half the difference between Scottish and English deaths cannot be accounted for by higher levels of deprivation. This puzzling "excess" of Scottish deaths has become referred to as the "Scottish effect."

Professor Bloor and colleagues from the University of Glasgow, analysed how many of these unaccounted-for deaths were the result of drug abuse.

They say that the published data on "drug related deaths" in Scotland is properly and purposely restrictive because only deaths which are a direct result of the pharmacological effect of taking an illegal drug i.e. an overdose, are counted. This, they argue, inadvertently hides a much wider problem of deaths linked to drug taking such as blood borne infections, suicide and violent assaults.

In order to estimate the number of deaths in a population of drug users they matched mortality data from the General Register Office for Scotland with participants in a study on Drug Outcomes Research in Scotland (DORIS). As part of that study, 1033 problem drug users who started a new bout of treatment in one of 33 drug treatment agencies across Scotland were interviewed between 2001 and 2002. They were followed up between 2004 and 2005.

Of those who didn't have follow-up interviews the researchers found 38 had died. Only 22, just over half, of those deaths had been recorded as drug-related. Of the other deaths, six were suicides (including three overdoses from medication such as paracetamol), three were due to an "infection associated with drug abuse", two were due to assaults, one was due to "alcoholic liver disease" and one due to exposure.

Previous work has shown that 1.84% of the Scottish population had a problem with drug abuse, compared to 0.99% in England.

Applying the rate of deaths of drug users in the DORIS study to the wider population of drug users in Scotland, allowed the authors to estimate that 32% of Scotland's excess mortality rate is due to the greater prevalence of problem drug abuse in the country.

Compared to smoking, excess drinking, or lack of exercise, relatively few people have a problem with drug abuse. However, the risk of death is high--drug users in the DORIS study were found to be 12 times as likely to die as someone from the general population.

Professor Bloor and colleagues conclude that successful public health campaigns to reduce the number of people taking drugs "would have a strong impact on overall mortality in both Scotland and England."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Drug Abuse Accounts For Third Of Deaths Behind Scotland's Higher Mortality Rate, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722192336.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, July 28). Drug Abuse Accounts For Third Of Deaths Behind Scotland's Higher Mortality Rate, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722192336.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Drug Abuse Accounts For Third Of Deaths Behind Scotland's Higher Mortality Rate, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722192336.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins