Assault by strangulation: sex differences in patient profile and subsequent readmissions
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OBJECTIVES: Assault by strangulation has the potential for severe brain injury or death. The objectives of this study were to describe the profile of individuals who had strangulation-related emergency department (ED) or acute care visits, and to explore 1-year readmission outcomes among survivors. METHODS: A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted using health administrative data in Ontario, Canada. Adults aged 15 years and older who were seen in the ED or acute care with assault by strangulation between fiscal years 2002/2003 and 2016/2017 were included in the study. Bivariate analyses were conducted to compare the patient profile and subsequent readmissions within 1 year of discharge, stratified by sex. RESULTS: A total of 586 patients were included in the study. The majority of these patients were seen in the ED (93%), predominantly female (70%), aged ≤ 39 years (68%), and of lower income quintiles of ≤ 3 (73%). Of the 579 patients who survived the initial admission, 52% had subsequent ED readmission and 21% had acute care readmission within 1 year. In sex-stratified analyses, a higher proportion of females were between 20 to 39 years (58.7% vs. 44.1%, p = 0.001), discharged home (88% vs. 81%, p < 0.001), and had ED readmission within 1 year of discharge (56% vs. 17%, p = 0.002). Males had comparatively higher 1-year acute care readmissions. CONCLUSION: The study shows high readmissions with sex differences among individuals with an assault by strangulation, suggesting sex-specific approach to health care practices to support the needs of this vulnerable population, thus reducing health system inefficiencies.
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