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Patients Given One More Peg Recover Fast: Study

Hospitalized injured patients are less likely to die if they consume alcohol, says a new study reiterating the fact oft-repeated by our cinema stars in our movies.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health have found that injured patients with alcohol in their blood are likely to survive. “This study is not encouraging people to drink,” said Lee Friedman, epidemiologist at the University of Illinois. “However, after an injury, if you are intoxicated there seems to be a pretty substantial protective effect.”

The finding, based data of more than 190,610 patients treated at trauma centers between 1995 and 2009 who were tested positive for blood alcohol content, survived injuries except burn injuries. Out of 190,612 patients, only 6,733 died in the hospital.

“The more alcohol you have in your system, the more the protective effect,” said Friedman. It helped not those with the lowest blood alcohol concentration (below 0.1 percent) but those with the highest levels (up to 0.5 percent), they said.

“At the higher levels of blood alcohol concentration, there was a reduction of almost 50 percent in hospital mortality rates,” Friedman said. “This protective benefit persists even after taking into account injury severity and other factors known to be strongly associated with mortality following an injury.”

Researchers are exploring further to understand the biomechanism of the alcohol and how it helps reduce the mortality risk.


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