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Alcohol intoxication among adolescents and children in urban and rural environments – a retrospective analysis

Beata Mełges 1,  
Department of Paediatrics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
[b]Introduction and objective.[/b] Drinking alcohol by adolescents and children poses a risk of long-term psychological and sociological consequences, often leading to addiction in adulthood. A steady increase in the number of young people reaching for alcohol is worrying. The study analyzes the age and gender of the children, concentration of alcohol in the blood, depending on the origin of the youth (urban or rural). [b]Material and method.[/b] The study was a retrospective analysis of 402 patients hospitalized due to alcohol intoxication in the Department of Paediatrics at Medical University in Lublin, Poland between 2004 – 2013. [b]Results. [/b]During the study period a continuous increase in admissions of patients after alcohol consumption was observed: from 27 children in 2004 to 53 in 2012 and 2013. The youngest patient hospitalized after drinking was 7.6 years old and came from the rural environment, the oldest 18 years old and came from the urban environment. In 2004 – 2007, boys dominated among children intoxicated with alcohol; since 2008, a slight prevalence of girls has been observed, especially in the urban environment. Among patients coming from the country, boys always predominated. In the study period there was noted a similar number of children consuming alcohol from rural and urban environments. [b]Conclusions.[/b] The results suggest the need to introduce appropriate educational programmes in schools to prevent the consumption of alcohol at a young age.