Journal Published Online: 19 February 2004
Volume 49, Issue 2

Nutritional Status of Deceased Illicit Drug Addicts in Stockholm, Sweden—A Longitudinal Medicolegal Study



Autopsy investigations, toxicological analyses, and calculation of body mass index were performed in 1180 deceased illicit drug addicts (IDAs) in Stockholm, Sweden during 1988–2000, i.e., during a period of time when the general population in numerous countries showed a dramatic increase in the prevalence of overweight. Nutritional deficit in IDAs has been pointed out as a threat to their health as well as to their quality of life.

The prevalence of overweight in deceased IDAs increased from 27.4% in 1988 to 45.5% in 2000. The prevalence of overweight among all heroin users, heroin injectors, methadone, cocaine, and amphetamine users was 36.0, 38.4, 43.1, 45.0 and 50.9%, respectively, the lowest prevalence being among users of cannabis alone and HIV-positive IDAs (22.0 and 16.1%, respectively).

In conclusion, Stockholm's IDAs are affected by the past decade's dramatically increased prevalence of overweight, at least to the same degree as the general population. The increased body weight seems not to influence the danger of dying upon heroin administration.

Author Information

Rajs, J
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Petersson, A
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Thiblin, I
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Olsson-Mortlock, C
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Fredriksson, Å
Eksborg, S
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Pages: 10
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Stock #: JFS2003289
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003289