Document Detail

Homicidal poisoning deaths in the United States 1999-2005.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19514882     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: Homicidal poisoning is an intriguing but poorly described phenomenon. This study describes homicidal poisoning deaths in the United States during 1999-2005. METHODS: A trend analysis of homicidal poisoning death was performed using Vital Statistics data. The National Mortality Statistics database was queried using "homicide" as injury intent and "poisoning" as mechanism for the years 1999-2005. Counts and rates were obtained for subgrouping by using demographic data and ICD-10 codes. Chi-square analysis calculated subgroup odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: A total of 523 homicidal poisoning deaths were identified. The overall rate for the period was 0.26/million/year. Males were significantly (OR 1.34, CI 1.13-1.59) more likely to victims than females. Death was more likely at extremes of age. Rates were 2.05/million (OR 8.72, CI 6.63-11.49) in children <1 year and 0.56/million (OR 2.20, CI 1.38-3.52) at ages >or=85 years. Rates also varied by race and were more common among Blacks (0.43/million; OR 1.83, CI 1.47-2.26). The greatest rate was observed in Black infants (5.3/million; OR 21.34, CI 14.17-32.15). ICD-10 codes indicated that medications were the most common poison. Rates were significantly higher in the West and lower in the Northeast. CONCLUSION: The overall homicidal poisoning death rate was low between 1999 and 2005. The most common type of poison used was medications. Substantially higher rates were observed in vulnerable populations at extremes of age, particularly infants, and among Blacks. This challenges common notions of the victims of homicidal poisoning and the underlying motivation of their poisoners.
Greene Shepherd; Brian C Ferslew
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)     Volume:  47     ISSN:  1556-9519     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-11     Completed Date:  2009-06-25     Revised Date:  2009-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101241654     Medline TA:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  342-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Pharmacy, Medical College of Georgia, University of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.
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MeSH Terms
African Americans / statistics & numerical data
Aged, 80 and over
Cause of Death / trends
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) / statistics & numerical data
Chi-Square Distribution
Child, Preschool
Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
Homicide / statistics & numerical data,  trends*
Middle Aged
Poisoning / epidemiology*,  etiology,  mortality
Sex Factors
United States / epidemiology
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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