Study shows home-medicating deaths increased twelvefold in last decade

7/29/2008

NEW YORK A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine Monday has found that deaths related to medication mistakes in the home went from 1,132 to 12,426 between 1983 and 2004.

The study looked at 50 million death certificates from across the country. Fatal errors included overdoses and mixing drugs with illegal drugs or alcohol. The analysis did not examine suicides, homicides or deaths from side effects.

The largest increase came from mixing drugs with alcohol and illegal drugs, an increase from 0.04 per 100,000 people in 1983 to 1.29 per 100,000 in 2004. The increase was highest in people in their 40s and 50s.

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