Alcohol-related emergency department visits associated with collegiate football games

Janice Shook, Brian C Hiestand
Journal of American College Health: J of ACH 2011, 59 (5): 388-92

OBJECTIVE: In 2003, after several post-college football game riots, multiple strategies including strict enforcement of open container laws were instituted by the authors' city and university. The authors compared alcohol-related visits to the on-campus emergency department (ED) associated with home football games in 2002 and 2006, hypothesizing that alcohol-related visits should decline.

PARTICIPANTS: ED patients during home game weekends.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study comparing the 2002 and 2006 home games-similar seasons wherein the team went undefeated. Logistic regression assessed the impact of environmental and patient characteristics on the likelihood of an ED visit being alcohol related.

RESULTS: In total 2,220 visits in 2002 and 2,146 visits in 2006 were reviewed. Alcohol-related visits increased from 2002 (7.9%) to 2006 (9.5%, p = .06). Despite community interventions, the odds of an ED visit being alcohol related increased (odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI₉₅] 1.06-1.64).

CONCLUSIONS: Community measures did not reduce alcohol-related visits to the ED.

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