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Characteristics of sudden bath-related death investigated by medical examiners in Tokyo, Japan.

Suzuki H, Hikiji W, Tanifuji T, Abe N, Fukunaga T - J Epidemiol (2014)

Bottom Line: However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter.Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

ABSTRACT

Background: Sudden bath-related deaths occur frequently in Japan, particularly among elderly people. However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.

Methods: Cases of bath-related deaths (n = 3289) were selected from all cases handled by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office from 2009 to 2011 (N = 41 336). The ages and occurrence dates were examined, and major autopsy findings, including toxicological analysis, were evaluated for the autopsied cases (n = 550).

Results: Most cases occurred in individuals older than 60 years of age during winter. Analysis of autopsy findings revealed water inhalation signs in many cases (n = 435, 79.1%). Circulatory system diseases constituted more than half of the pathological findings regarding factors that may have contributed significantly to death (n = 300, 54.5%), and cardiac lesions were the most common pathological finding (n = 250, 45.5%). However, approximately one-third of the cases exhibited no remarkable pathological findings (n = 198, 36.0%). A quarter of all cases involved blood ethanol levels that exceeded 0.5 mg/mL (n = 140).

Conclusions: The results suggested that drowning plays an important role in the final process of bath-related death. Circulatory system diseases may be the primary underlying pathology; however, there were variations in the medical histories and pathologies of cases of bath-related death. From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter. Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

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Age-specific mortality rates of bath-related deaths
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fig01: Age-specific mortality rates of bath-related deaths

Mentions: Bath-related death was most frequently reported in individuals aged 80 to 89 years in both sexes (Table 1). In general, more than 90% of deaths in both sexes were in people older than 60 (92.5% of men and 95.7% of women). The age-specific mortality rates tended to increase with age in both sexes, and mortality rates in males were significantly higher than in females in all age groups aged ≥60 years (P < 0.01; Figure 1).


Characteristics of sudden bath-related death investigated by medical examiners in Tokyo, Japan.

Suzuki H, Hikiji W, Tanifuji T, Abe N, Fukunaga T - J Epidemiol (2014)

Age-specific mortality rates of bath-related deaths
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4310873&req=5

fig01: Age-specific mortality rates of bath-related deaths
Mentions: Bath-related death was most frequently reported in individuals aged 80 to 89 years in both sexes (Table 1). In general, more than 90% of deaths in both sexes were in people older than 60 (92.5% of men and 95.7% of women). The age-specific mortality rates tended to increase with age in both sexes, and mortality rates in males were significantly higher than in females in all age groups aged ≥60 years (P < 0.01; Figure 1).

Bottom Line: However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter.Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

ABSTRACT

Background: Sudden bath-related deaths occur frequently in Japan, particularly among elderly people. However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.

Methods: Cases of bath-related deaths (n = 3289) were selected from all cases handled by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office from 2009 to 2011 (N = 41 336). The ages and occurrence dates were examined, and major autopsy findings, including toxicological analysis, were evaluated for the autopsied cases (n = 550).

Results: Most cases occurred in individuals older than 60 years of age during winter. Analysis of autopsy findings revealed water inhalation signs in many cases (n = 435, 79.1%). Circulatory system diseases constituted more than half of the pathological findings regarding factors that may have contributed significantly to death (n = 300, 54.5%), and cardiac lesions were the most common pathological finding (n = 250, 45.5%). However, approximately one-third of the cases exhibited no remarkable pathological findings (n = 198, 36.0%). A quarter of all cases involved blood ethanol levels that exceeded 0.5 mg/mL (n = 140).

Conclusions: The results suggested that drowning plays an important role in the final process of bath-related death. Circulatory system diseases may be the primary underlying pathology; however, there were variations in the medical histories and pathologies of cases of bath-related death. From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter. Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus