Toxicology findings in suicides: Concentrations of ethanol and other drugs in femoral blood in victims of hanging and poisoning in relation to age and gender of the deceased
2013 (English)In: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, ISSN 1752-928X, Vol. 20, no 7, 842-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Over-consumption of alcohol and/or abuse of other drugs are closely linked to attempted or completed suicides. In this retrospective 10-year study (2001-2010), we compared the toxicology findings in hanging suicides (n = 4551) with drug poisoning (intoxication) suicides (n = 2468). The mean age of hanging deaths was 49 +/- 19 y (+/- SD) and 80% were male, compared with a mean age of 52 +/- 17 y and 47% males for the intoxication deaths. Poly-drug use was more common in poisoning suicides with an average of 3.6 drugs/case compared with 1.8 drugs/case in hangings. Moreover, 31% of hangings were negative for alcohol and/or drugs. Alcohol was detected (andgt;0.20 g/L) in femoral blood in 30% of hanging suicides (mean 1.39 g/L) and 36% of drug poisonings (mean 1.39 g/L). The median BACs did not depend on the persons age or gender (p andgt; 0.05). Ethanol, paracetamol, citalopram, diazepam, propiomazine, alimemazine and zopiclone were amongst the top-ten drugs detected in both methods of suicide. With the exception of ethanol, the concentrations of drugs in blood were considerably higher in the poisoning deaths, as might be expected. Regardless of the method of suicide, antidepressants and/or antipsychotics were common findings, which could implicate mental health as a significant suicide risk factor.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2013. Vol. 20, no 7, 842-847 p.
Alcohol, Blood, Drugs, Hanging, Poisoning, Suicides, Toxicology
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100489DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.06.027ISI: 000325484400012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-100489DiVA: diva2:662953