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The Outbreak of Fentanyl-Related Deaths in Cook County, Illinois, Between October 2015 and December 2017: A Retrospective Study and a Comparison with Previous Data.

Authors
  • Serinelli, Serenella1
  • White, Steven2
  • Arunkumar, Ponni3
  • Wang, Dongliang4
  • Gitto, Lorenzo1
  • 1 Department of Pathology, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse, NY, 13210.
  • 2 British Columbia Coroner's Service, 3649 Cambridge St., Vancouver, V5K1M5, BC, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Cook County Office of Medical Examiner, 2121 W Harrison St., Chicago, IL, 60612.
  • 4 Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse, NY, 13210.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of forensic sciences
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
64
Issue
6
Pages
1735–1742
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14114
PMID: 31216059
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has observed an increase in fentanyl deaths in the United States. One epidemic related to the abuse of fentanyl happened in Cook County in 2005-2007 (350 deaths). Another outbreak of fentanyl deaths occurred in 2015-2017 in the same area. The database of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office was searched for cases of fentanyl deaths between 2015 and 2017: 1244 deaths were found. A comparison was performed with the previous data: an increase in the number of females was observed in 2015-2017. Also, in 2005-2007, the majority of deaths occurred among African American, while in 2015-2017, Caucasians were more involved. Within our population, some drug combinations were more common in specific demographic subgroups (male/females; Caucasian/African American; and certain age groups). The epidemiology and the most significant drug associations found at the toxicology are discussed, highlighting the usefulness of the knowledge about this outbreak for public health. © 2019 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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