Dr. Aurora is currently at the University of Michigan, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, MI
Cocaine Use in Elder Patients Presenting to an Inner-city Emergency Department
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2004 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Academic Emergency Medicine
Volume 11, Issue 8, pages 874–877, August 2004
How to Cite
Rivers, E., Shirazi, E., Aurora, T., Mullen, M., Gunnerson, K., Sheridan, B., Eichhorn, L. and Tomlanovich, M. (2004), Cocaine Use in Elder Patients Presenting to an Inner-city Emergency Department. Academic Emergency Medicine, 11: 874–877. doi: 10.1197/j.aem.2004.02.527
Dr. Mullen is currently at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Dr. Gunnerson is currently at the Commonwealth University Medical Center/Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Mr. Sheridan is currently a medical student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH
Ms. Eichhorn is currently a medical student at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Received December 13, 2003; Received Revised February 12, 2004; Accepted February 20, 2004
- substance-related disorders;
- emergency medicine;
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of cocaine use in a population of elder patients presenting to an inner-city academic emergency department (ED). Methods:This was a prospective, blinded observational study of patients aged 60 years or older who presented to a large urban ED over a six-month period. A urine drug screen was performed on patients who had a sample obtained during treatment for routine analysis. Patients' demographic data were collected and compared. Results: A total of 5,677 visits met the inclusion criteria. Urine samples were obtained in 911 (16%) of these visits with 852 unique individuals. There were 18 cocaine-positive results among the 911 visits, for a rate of 2.0%. The rate of positive subjects was also 2.0% (17/852). The cocaine users were younger (66.4 ± 7.2 vs. 76.0 ± 8.7 years), predominantly male (88.9% vs. 46.6%), and more likely to be diagnosed with drug or alcohol abuse as compared with the cocaine-negative patients. However, there were no significant differences in disposition between the cocaine-positive and cocaine-negative groups. Conclusions: Elder patients may have a higher prevalence of cocaine use than previously estimated by national registries.
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