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Gender differences among patients admitted following poisoning: a prospective study in Southern Sri Lanka

Authors:

MCB Galahitiyawa ,

Registrar in Medicine, Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, LK
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MRP Weerawansa,

Registrar in Medicine, Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, LK
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JDVC Lekamwasam

Consultant Physician, Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, LK
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Abstract

Objective: To examine gender differences among subjects admitted following poisoning in Southern, Sri Lanka.
Setting: Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, Galle.
Materials and Methods: 303 consecutive patients, admitted to Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya following self ingestion of poisons, from April to September 2006 were included in the study. All were interviewed during their hospital stay and data were collected using a pre-designed questionnaire.
Results: There were 135 males (44.55%). Median (IQR) ages of males and females were 24(19-36) and 21(18-26) years respectively (p < 0.001). 43% of males had only primary education whereas 82% of females had education above O/L (p < 0.001). 65.9% males and 40.5% females were unemployed (p < 0.001). 51.1% of males were from social class 5 (the lowest) whereas 43.5% of females were from one social class above, 4 (p = 0.005). Family conflicts were the immediate cause of poisoning in 57.1% females and 40% males (p = 0.005). 61.3% of females presented with drug overdose whereas 61.5% males had taken agrochemicals (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: In this study, compared to women, men who got admitted following poisoning were less educated, unemployed, had high agrochemical use, and came from a lower social class. In the community level, these characteristics can be used in recognizing vulnerable individuals for poisoning. Further, this study highlights the importance of community based programmes to improve the family harmony to reduce the burden of self poisoning.  

doi: 10.4038/gmj.v13i1.890

Galle Medical Journal Vol.13(1) 2008 26-28

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v13i1.890
How to Cite: Galahitiyawa, M., Weerawansa, M. & Lekamwasam, J., (2009). Gender differences among patients admitted following poisoning: a prospective study in Southern Sri Lanka. Galle Medical Journal. 13(1), pp.26–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v13i1.890
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Published on 29 Jul 2009.
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