Tijdschrift: Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research

Gender, age and educational level attribute to blood alcohol concentration in hospitalized intoxicated adolescents; a cohort study.

Authors: E. van Zanten, T. van der Ploeg, J.J. van Hoof, N. van der Lely.

The prevalence of adolescents hospitalized with acute alcohol intoxication, mainly because of  severe reduced consciousness, is increasing. However, the characteristics of these adolescents are unidentified. In this clinical research we aimed to identify factors that attribute to higher ethanol concentration, on which targeted alcohol health interventions can be designed.

Methods Since 2007 alcohol intoxication among adolescents has been one of the leading topics of the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance System (NSCK). In the current study we have analyzed which demographic characteristics, general alcohol use behaviors and clinical intoxication data related to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels at hospital admittance. We included all adolescents aged < 18 years, admitted with BAC > 0.0 g/L, and reduced consciousness during the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Results A total of 2,023 adolescents with alcohol intoxication were reported, 1,618 questionnaires were returned, of which 1,350 met our inclusion criteria. In univariate analysis age, gender, educational level, place of alcohol purchase, place of alcohol consumption, age of first drink, and regular alcohol use during the weekend correlated with higher BAC. After multivariate analysis older adolescents, boys, and higher educational level significantly attributed to higher BAC at admittance.

Conclusion In alcohol intoxicated adolescents with reduced consciousness gender, age, but also educational level correlate with BAC at admittance. Explanatory factors could be found in sensitivity to alcohol, but also in socio-economic factors, which influence availability. Intervention strategies could be targeted more specific now  for the subgroups found in this study to decrease the growing burden of adolescent alcohol intoxication, both on the societal and clinical level.


In Nederland worden sinds 2007 alle kinderen opgenomen met een alcoholvergiftiging geregistreerd. In deze studie hebben we bekeken welke kinderen worden opgenomen met de hoogste alcoholpromillages. Dit blijken jongens, oudere kinderen en kinderen van het VWO te zijn. Uit eerdere literatuur is bekend dat jongens en oudere adolescenten meer drinken. De reden dat VWO kinderen opgenomen worden met alcohol promillages kan bijvoorbeeld liggen aan ander soort drankgebruik of omdat zij meer geld te besteden hebben.