Poisoning is a global health problem and one of the major causes of emergency hospitalisation. A study was undertaken at MGM Hospital and Research Centre, Central Business District, Belapur, Navi Mumbai, on the epidemiological profile of victims in acute poisoning cases following a chance observation of female preponderance among poisoning cases attending the hospital.
A total of 234 acute poisoning victims, who visited the hospital over a five-year period (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2012) were included in the study. Out of them, 172 (69.51%) victims were in the age group of 16 to 35 years. The mean age was 26.
The female to male ratio was 1.75:1. In 137 (58.55%) poisoning cases, the victims were married. However, the proportion of married women which was 92 out of a total of 149 was statistically significant, placing young married women at higher risk of poisoning.
In 32 (13.68%) cases, poisoning was accidental, while in the remaining 202 (86.32%) cases deliberate self-harm (DSH) was the reason.
Among the poisons consumed, psychotropic drugs (24.79%), insecticides (11.54%) and disinfectants (11.11%) constituted the bulk.
This is the first study in Maharashtra and one of the few in the country that has reported high preponderance of young married women among poisoning cases. Adverse male to female ratio (1,000:893) in Thane district where Navi Mumbai is located, coupled with findings of high incidence of acute poisoning in females, is a clear indication of social distress among women in this part of the country, the study says.