Narcotic misuse in Sweden : Examining changes in age structure and gender from 1997- 2017 through events of hospitalizations and mortality

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för folkhälsovetenskap

Abstract: Aim: The motivation of this explorative study is to analyze the changing age structure of individuals misusing narcotics presenting with events of hospitalization or mortality. Methods: The data is derived from three anonymous, aggregated data sets for the mortality (n=4,999), hospitalization (n=143,264), and general population data. Descriptives, independent T-Tests, and simple linear regression is used for the analysis of age among events of mortality and hospitalizations throughout time. Results: The structure of ages among individuals with mortality linked to narcotic misuse does not significantly change. The trends in ages among males and females present themselves differently in mortality related to narcotic misuse as the female median ages continue to increase in age, whereas male median ages remain relatively stable. The age structure of individuals with hospitalizations linked to narcotic misuse has changed over time, with the males and females presenting similar significant trends in declining age. Conclusion: The changes in age structure among individuals misusing narcotics differ when measuring mortality and hospitalizations. Significant changes indicate that hospitalizations have increased over time and are more prevalent in younger adults, suggesting that more individuals are misusing narcotics at younger ages and requiring more medical care as they age and live longer lives.

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