Journal Article

The Role of Race/Ethnicity in Alcohol-attributable Injury in the United States

Katherine M. Keyes, Xianfang C. Liu and Magdalena Cerda

in Epidemiologic Reviews

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 89-102
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0193-936X
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1478-6729 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxr018
The Role of Race/Ethnicity in Alcohol-attributable Injury in the United States

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A substantial proportion of injuries worldwide are attributable to alcohol consumption, and US estimates indicate that the drinking patterns of racial/ethnic groups vary considerably. The authors reviewed evidence from 19 publications regarding racial/ethnic differences in overall alcohol-attributable injury as well as percent blood alcohol content positivity for injury deaths in the United States. They found that Native Americans evidence higher rates of alcohol-attributable motor vehicle crash fatality, suicide, and falls compared with other racial/ethnic groups; conversely, Asians evidence lower rates of alcohol-attributable injury than other racial/ethnic groups. The rate of alcohol positivity and intoxication among Hispanics is disproportionately high relative to estimates of alcohol use. Black subgroups also evidence higher rates of alcohol positivity than would be expected given estimates of alcohol use, including for alcohol positivity among drivers of fatally injured black children and homicide. These findings highlight the continued need for public health focus on Native American populations with respect to alcohol consumption and injury. Further, the disparity in alcohol-attributable injury mortality among black and Hispanic groups relative to their reported rates of alcohol consumption is an overlooked area of research. The authors review potential social determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in alcohol-attributable injuries and identify directions for further research on these patterns.

Keywords: accidents; alcohol drinking; alcoholic intoxication; homicide; minority health; motor vehicles; suicide; wounds and injuries

Journal Article.  8460 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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