5 years ago

Social determinants of drug-related mortality in a general population

We investigated the association between social determinants and a broad selection of drug-related deaths in a general population. Methods We conducted a follow-up of an 11% random sample of working-age Finnish residents for 1996–2007 linked with an oversampling of deaths and population registration data on social characteristics. We defined total drug-related deaths as those from psychoactive substance use disorders and drug-induced poisonings (drug-induced deaths) as well as drug-related accidents, homicides, illnesses, and suicides. Results The number of drug-related deaths was three times that of drug-induced deaths. We found the highest hazard ratios (HRs) for total drug-related mortality for long-term unemployment (4.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.3–5.6), short-term unemployment (3.9; 95% CI, 3.5–4.4), and retirement (5.8; 95% CI, 5.1–6.8). The HRs were highest for mortality related to psychoactive substance use disorders and lowest for mortality related to drug-related suicides. The differences were large for both sexes. Conclusions Drug-related mortality was associated with social disadvantage; however, the strength of the association varied by drug-related cause of death. Primary and secondary prevention of drug use should particularly target disadvantaged groups.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0376871617304866

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