Paracetamol poisoning among immigrants in a department of hepatology

3 Citationer (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: An increased incidence of suicides and suicidal behaviour among immigrants has been described in other countries. In Denmark, misuse of paracetamol is suspected in some foreign-born minority groups, although no data have been produced to substantiate this suspicion.

METHODOLOGY: A retrospective study of the incidence of paracetamol poisoning in patients admitted to a specialised department of hepatology from 1994 to 1999 was carried out.

RESULTS: Of a total of 580 patients, 56 (9.7%; 95%-confidence interval 7.2-12.1%) were immigrants, among whom a significant overrepresentation was found of immigrants from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Lebanon (Observed/Expected-ratios of 1.95, 4.14, 2.67, and 2.45 respectively; p < 0.05). The immigrants differed from the Danish-born patients being younger (21 vs 35 years of age; p < 0.05), having a lower level of alcohol consumption (3% vs 30% with regular alcohol abuse; p < 0.05), and in general being less severely intoxicated (3% vs 22% developing hepatic encephalopathy; p < 0.05). Compared to the Danish-born patients, the immigrants more frequently stated socio-economic problems as the reason for their self-poisoning (29% vs 10%; p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates an overrepresentation of immigrants among patients admitted with paracetamol poisoning in Denmark.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)88-90
Antal sider3
StatusUdgivet - maj 2001


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