Objectives Self-inflicted intentional injuries are increasing at an alarming rate in the Republic of Korea, yet few reports describe their relationship with alcohol consumption. The aim of this study was to characterise the association of alcohol drinking patterns and self-inflicted intentional injury in Korean emergency departments (EDs) using WHO collaborative study protocol.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Data were collected from four general hospital EDs in four geographically diverse regions of Korea: Seoul, Suwon, Chuncheon and Gwangju.
Participants Information was collected on 1989 patients aged 18 and above. A representative probability sample was drawn from patients admitted to each ED for the first time within 6 h of injury.
Primary and secondary outcome measures Alcohol-related non-fatal injuries.
Results Among 467 persons with alcohol-related injuries, 33 (7.1%), were self-inflicted intentional injuries and 137 (29.3%) were intentional injuries caused by someone else. The adjusted odds of self-inflicted intentional injury verses unintentional injury were calculated for heavy (OR 1.764; 95% CI 0.783 to 3.976), binge (OR 2.125; 95% CI 0.930 to 4.858) and moderate drinking (OR 3.039; 95% CI 1.129 to 8.178) after controlling for demographic variables. Similar odds were reported for pooled intentional injury data (self-inflicted and caused by someone else) and drinking patterns.
Conclusions These data show a strong association between all patterns of acute alcohol consumption and self-inflicted intentional injury in the Republic of Korea.
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