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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Alcohol use in adolescence: 5 years admissions at a pediatric emergency department

Marlene Rodrigues
  • Corresponding author
  • Pediatrics Department, Hospital de Braga, Sete Fontes, São Victor, 4710-243, Braga, Portugal, Phone: +253 027 000
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Teresa Pontes / Juliana Almeida / Alexandra Estrada / Susana Carvalho
Published Online: 2018-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0166



To characterize the profile and pattern of alcohol consumption in adolescents, admitted with acute alcoholic intoxication (AAI) at a pediatric emergency department of North Portugal.


Retrospective descriptive study of adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years, admitted with AAI between 2012 and 2016. The following variables were evaluated: age, gender, drinking context, quantity and type of alcohol, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), previous episodes, associated injuries, transport to the emergency department, other drug consumption, blood alcohol level (BAL), blood glucose level, treatment and orientation. The χ2/Fisher’s exact test and t-Student test were performed (p < 0.05).


A total of 180 adolescents with AAI presented. The majority of adolescents were older than 15 years old (71%) and 3% were younger than 14 years old. The mean age was 15.9 years [standard deviation (SD) 1.1 years] and 65% were males. The most common type of alcohol consumed was distilled drinks (60%). Recurrent alcohol use was identified in 7% and binge drinking was reported in 37% of patients. The mean BAL was 1.58 g/L (SD 0.6 g/L) and there were other drug consumptions (mainly cannabinoids) observed in 11% of patients. After emergency department discharge, 17% were followed at hospital consultation. There was no significant difference between boys and girls or between BAL and injuries or other drugs consumption.


This study confirms a high rate of alcohol use among adolescents, in particular “heavy episodic drinking”, revealing an easy access to alcohol at this age. The integration of alcohol use prevention programs in community and education systems should be encouraged and implemented in every adolescent consultation.

Keywords: adolescence; alcohol; risk behaviors; substance abuse


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About the article

Received: 2017-09-27

Accepted: 2017-10-09

Published Online: 2018-04-13

Conflict of interest: The authors declare that there is no financial interest or any conflict of interest.

Author’s contributions Marlene Rodrigues: Conception and design; acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the article; critical revision of the article; final approval of the version.Teresa Pontes: Conception and design; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the article; final approval of the version.Susana Carvalho: Conception and design; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the article; final approval of the version.Juliana Almeida: Acquisition of data.Alexandra Estrada: Acquisition of data.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170166, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0166.

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