Background: acute poisonings are medical emergencies and significant causes of death. We aimed to study the spatial distribution of poisoned patients and its risk factors in Mashhad, Iran.
Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study of patients treated at the Medical Toxicology Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad, Iran, which is the only referral center in northeastern of Iran in 2013. Negative binomial and Poisson approach via generalized linear mixed models were performed to investigate the association between socio-demographic and environmental characteristics with the number of reported cases of poisoning.
Results: A total of 5064 poisoned patients (52% females) were included. Most of the poisoned patients were within the age group of 20-29 years old (41.4%). Drugs were the most common cause of poisonings (64.6%). The local test of spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) confirms that the poisoning has cluster pattern in Mashhad. Positive relationships were found between poisoning frequency, population density (RR= 1.00011; 95% CI 1.0001-1.00013), the number of health centers (RR= 1.10; 95% CI 1.03-1.17) and percent with less educational background (RR=1.49; 95% CI 1.32-1.68).
Conclusion: Drug poisoning was the most common causes of poisoning in this study. Moreover, socio- and environmental characteristics were associated with poisoning frequency in different areas, which could be vital for policy and decision makers when planning. It can be helpful to develop prevention strategies by identifying the underlying cause of disease in high prevalence rate areas.