Apr 26, 2012

Cocaine use in the past year is associated with altitude of residence

Journal of Addiction Medicine
Kristen K FiedlerP F Renshaw


Recently, increased rates of suicide in US counties at higher altitudes have been noted. Because of the documented association between cocaine use and suicide, we hypothesized that there would be a correlation between incidence of cocaine use and altitude of residence. Cocaine use data were obtained from the Substate Substance Abuse Estimates from the 1999-2001 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Data related to the percentages of people 12 years or older who used cocaine in the past year. Average elevation for US counties was calculated using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission elevation data set, and subject region elevation was calculated by averaging the weighted elevations of each region's relevant counties. The correlation between elevation of a substate region and incidence of cocaine use in that region was calculated using Pearson correlation coefficients. A significant correlation exists between mean altitude of a substate region and incidence of cocaine use in that region (r = 0.34; P < 0.0001). Regression analysis controlling for age, sex, race, education level, income, unemployment, and population density was performed. Altitude remained a significant factor (P = 0.007), whereas male sex (P = 0.008) and posses...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Prevalence Studies
Drug Usage
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Medical Missions, Official
Cocaine Dependence

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