Peter Ford and colleagues report in this issue of CMAJ that male prison inmates in either provincial or federal prisons in Ontario have a "significantly higher" rate of death than those not in custody.
Wobeser and colleagues examined causes of death (violent and natural) among people in custody in Ontario and compared those findings across 3 custodial systems (federal penitentiaries, provincial prisons and police cells). The authors found that a total of 308 inmates died in custody between 1990 and 1999. Of the 283 deaths involving men, well over half (168) were due to violent causes: suicide by strangulation (90), poisoning or toxic effect (48), and homicide (16). Natural causes accounted for 115 of the deaths, with cardiovascular disease being the most common cause (62) followed distantly by cancer (18 cases).
"The most striking difference was with violent deaths, with overdose being 50 and 20 times more common in the federal and provincial inmate populations, respectively, than in the general male population," write the authors.
In a related editorial, Stefan Fruehwald and Patrick Frottier compare the findings of Wobeser et al with previous findings from around the world and recommend further work be done to find out more about individual risk factors, precursors of deaths and preventive factors.
Page: 1 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Dr. Peter Ford
Canadian Medical Association Journal
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. Risk of cardiac death after radiotherapy for breast cancer has declined, study finds7
. Study shows risk of cardiac death after radiation for breast cancer has dramatically decreased8
. Neuronal death and processing of Tau protein in Alzheimers disease9
. New guideline tackles leading cause of mother and child death10
. Tobacco industry pays scientists to challenge secondhand smokes link to infant death risk11
. Heart surgeons publish death rates