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The fatality rate among hard drug users is 14 times higher than for the general population
Date:2/7/2014

between 1997 and 2007; they were aged between 15 and 49 years at the time of being recruited and were cross-referenced with the general mortality register for the 1997-2008 period, in order to observe their vital condition.

Excess mortality adjusted death rate ratio between participants and the general population was considerable in both groups of participants. In fact, the death rate among those who also consumed heroin was 14.3 times higher than for the general population, while among those who did not consume this substance, it was 5.1 times higher.

The results also revealed that was a greater chance of men dying than women among those who also consumed heroin (1.5 times), while no differences were found according to sex among those who did not consume this substance.

The authors stated that the excess mortality found is within the range of the results published in the past in other countries (4-12 times higher).

Other related factors

Apart from the use of heroine, other factors related to the greater risk of death were identified, such as the absence of regular employment, drug use by injection or consuming cocaine on a daily basis.

"This excess mortality may be due to the consumption of cocaine or heroin, but there are also other factors that may be different among the general population and the participants, such as mental disorders, personality traits, social conditions, etc.," said Barrio.

Another interesting finding was that the excess mortality with regard to the general population of the same age and sex was significantly higher among women than among men, particularly among those who consumed cocaine but not heroin (8.6 times in women compared with 3.5 times in men).

"This information does not mean that female cocaine consumers have a significantly greater risk of death than their male counterparts, but that the relative increased risk of female cocaine consu
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