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Alcohol Ingestion and Age of Death in Hanging Suicides

Authors

  • Rexson Tse M.B.B.S.,

    1. Forensic Science SA, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.
    2. Discipline of Pathology, The University of Adelaide, Frome Rd, Adelaide, SA, 5005, Australia.
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  • Noel Sims,

    1. Forensic Science SA, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.
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  • Roger W. Byard M.D.

    1. Forensic Science SA, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.
    2. Discipline of Pathology, The University of Adelaide, Frome Rd, Adelaide, SA, 5005, Australia.
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Additional information and reprint requests:
Roger W. Byard, M.D.
Professor
Discipline of Pathology
Level 3 Medical School North Building
The University of Adelaide, Frome Road
Adelaide 5005
Australia
E-mail: roger.byard@sa.gov.au

Abstract

Abstract:  Retrospective review of 100 consecutive, nondecomposed cases of suicide because of hanging was conducted at Forensic Science SA, Australia. Alcohol was detected in 38 cases (38%). The percentage of victims who had ingested alcohol significantly decreased with age (r2 = 0.81), with alcohol detected in 57.1% of those aged ≤24 years, compared to 28.5% of those aged between 55 and 64 years, and 0% of those aged ≥65 years. A similar linear relationship between alcohol ingestion and age was found for cases with blood alcohol levels >0.05 g/100 mL (r2 = 0.73). The mean ages of those with detectable alcohol (35.2 years) levels >0.05 g/100 mL (35.1 years) and levels >0.1 g/100 mL (37.2 years) were all significantly less than in those with no detectable alcohol (44.4 years) (p < 0.005, <0.005, <0.05 respectively). A clear relationship between alcohol ingestion and younger age was shown in hanging suicides.

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