OBJECTIVE: Drug overdose exposures were compared with chemical poisoning in terms of demographics, associated factors and final outcomes.
METHOD: Deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) cases admitted to Penang General Hospital during the years 2000-2004 were studied. Chi-square, independent t-test and binary logistic were used whenever applicable.
RESULTS: Indian patients were more likely to use household products, whereas Malay and Chinese patients were more likely to take drug overdoses (P=.001). Drug overdose victims experienced more socioeconomic problems (P=.05) and were more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (P=.052). Chemical poisoning patients presented earlier (P=.011), were hospitalized for shorter time (P=.001) and had a higher rate of mortality (P=.01).
CONCLUSION: The present study has identified a unique ethnic variation in the choice of suicide attempts from toxic substances. DSP associated with drug overdose showed significant morbidity, but increased mortality was seen in chemical poisoning.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.