"Save Your Face - Drink Sensibly" - Assault And Alcohol Major Causes Of Facial Injury

January 30, 1998

Trends in facial injury: increasing violence more than compensates for decreasing road trauma

Assault and alcohol consumption are the two major factors responsible for serious facial injuries in young adults, suggest Shepherd et al in this week's BMJ. The authors found that one half of the facial injuries in the 15 - 25 year age group were sustained in assaults, usually in bars or streets, and were associated with alcohol consumption by the victim or the assailant. The authors note that the increase in vulnerability of those who have been drinking heavily may be more important than the effect of alcohol on aggression.

From 1977 to 1987 the proportion of patients with facial injuries sustained in road accidents fell by 34 per cent. However, according to Shepherd et al, violent crime has more than compensated for this decrease. The proportion of injuries sustained in assaults increased from 40 per cent in 1977 to 50 per cent in 1987 and since then has continued to rise. The authors estimate that around 500,000 people suffer facial injuries annually, 125,000 of them in assaults. The authors note that the psychological legacy of facial injury can persist long after the injury has occurred, as facial scars serve as a constant reminder of the assault.

Four times more men than women sustained facial injuries in assaults, but in the home the reverse was true. Nearly half of all facial injuries sustained in assaults on women occurred in the home and one half of these incidents were associated with alcohol. One fifth of the injuries involving children were related to assault, underlining the need for anti-bullying policies in schools. Road traffic accidents accounted for only five per cent of facial injuries and, interestingly, 15 per cent of road accident victims had consumed alcohol within four hours of their injury.


Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff


Related Alcohol Consumption Articles from Brightsurf:

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

Alcohol consumption rises sharply during pandemic shutdown
Anecdotal information has suggested that people are buying and consuming more alcohol during the pandemic shutdown.

Associations of alcohol consumption, alcohol-induced passing out with risk of dementia
The risk of future dementia associated with overall alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced loss of consciousness in a population of current drinkers was examined in this observational study with more than 131,000 adults.

Sweet coolers a gateway to increased alcohol consumption
Sweetened alcoholic beverages can promote harmful alcohol consumption among teens, new University of Guelph research finds.

The influence of alcohol consumption among cohabitating partners
Research has linked a partner's or spouse's drinking with changes in alcohol-related behaviors, but few studies have considered only cohabiting relationships.

Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.

Is alcohol consumption more helpful than harmful? It depends on your age
Studies of health effects of alcohol consumption may underestimate the risks of imbibing, particularly for younger people, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer ignored by women most at risk
Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.

How much is too much? Even moderate alcohol consumption is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation
Excessive alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), but what are the effects of moderate and mild consumption on AF?

Moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with fewer hospitalizations
A study of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of I.R.C.C.S.

Read More: Alcohol Consumption News and Alcohol Consumption Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.