Article Text

Violence, self-harm and drug or alcohol misuse in adolescents admitted to hospitals in England for injury: a retrospective cohort study
  1. Annie Herbert,
  2. Ruth Gilbert,
  3. Arturo González-Izquierdo,
  4. Leah Li
  1. Population, Policy & Practice Programme, University College London Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Annie Herbert; annie.herbert.12{at}


Objectives Of adolescents in the general population in England, we aimed to determine (1) the proportion that has an emergency admission to hospital for injury related to adversity (violence, self-harm or drug or alcohol misuse) and (2) the risk of recurrent emergency admissions for injury in adolescents admitted with adversity-related injury compared with those admitted with accident-related injury only.

Design We used longitudinally linked administrative hospital data (Hospital Episode Statistics) to identify participants aged 10–19 years with emergency admissions for injury (including day cases lasting more than 4 h) in England in 1998–2011. We used the Office for National Statistics mid-year estimates for population denominators.

Results Approximately 4.3% (n=141 248) of adolescents in the general population (n=3 254 046) had one or more emergency admissions for adversity-related injury (girls 4.6%, boys 4.1%), accounting for 50% of all emergency admissions for injury in girls and 29.1% in boys. Admissions for self-harm or drug or alcohol misuse commonly occurred in the same girls and boys. Recurrent emergency admissions for injury were more common in adolescents with adversity-related injury (girls 17.3%, boys 16.5%) than in those with accident-related injury only (girls 4.7%, boys 7.4%), particularly for adolescents with adversity-related injury related to multiple types of adversity (girls 21.1%, boys 24.2%).

Conclusions Hospital-based interventions should be developed to reduce the risk of future injury in adolescents admitted for adversity-related injury.


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