Alcohol misuse and injury outcomes in adolescents aged 10-24 using linked UK health data

Date of ISAC Approval: 
17/08/2015
Lay Summary: 
Injuries are the leading cause of death among young people and continue to be an important cause of hospital admission and ill health. Alcohol misuse is increasing among young people and is a potentially important risk factor for injuries in young people. Existing studies investigating alcohol as a risk factor for injury are often small and rely on information reported by young people themselves. Additionally, little is known about the association between alcohol misuse and the types of injuries (e.g. falls, road traffic incidents) young people sustain, which is important when developing injury prevention programmes. By using the linked primary care and hospital admission records of young people aged 10-24 we aim to assess whether young people admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol misuse have an increased risk of injury compared to young people who haven't been admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol misuse. We will identify the most common injuries that young people sustain following a hospital admission for alcohol misuse with the aim of informing future injury prevention programmes.
Technical Summary: 
Injuries are the leading cause of mortality among young people within the UK, leading to large numbers of hospital admissions every year. Existing studies assessing health outcomes of hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption are often limited by small sample sizes, being cross-sectional, and relying on self-reported alcohol intake and outcome information. There are few population-based studies of alcohol-related health outcomes among young people; none using linked primary and secondary care data in the UK. Using a cohort aged 10-24 with linked CPRD and inpatient HES data, for the period 1997-2014, we will assess whether young people with an alcohol-specific hospital admission have a higher risk of injury than controls. We will match up to 10 controls (without an alcohol-specific hospital admission between age 10-24) per case on age and general practice. We will estimate incidence rates, unadjusted and adjusted hazard rate ratios of injury and 95% confidence intervals using Cox regression to compare those with and without an alcohol-specific hospital admission. Age, sex, region, calendar year and socioeconomic status will be investigated as potential confounders. A greater understanding of injury consequences among young people who misuse alcohol will help develop more targeted and evidence based prevention and harm minimisation programmes.
Health Outcomes to be Measured: 
Injuries overall, and specifically hospitalised injuries, classifying injuries according to the injury type (e.g. fracture, burn), mechanism (e.g. falls, road traffic incidents) and intent (e.g. unintentional, self-harm, assault) of injury
Collaborators: 

Elizabeth Orton - Chief Investigator - University Of Nottingham
Louise Lester - Corresponding Applicant - University Of Nottingham
Dr Ruth Baker - Collaborator - University Of Nottingham

Linkages: 
HES Admitted;Patient IMD;Practice IMD (Standard)