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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


VERA REMARTINEZ, Enrique Jesús; PLANELLES RAMOS, Manuel Vicente  and  GARCIA GUERRERO, Julio. Trends in Mortality in a Spanish Prison from 1994-2004. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.79, n.6, pp.673-682. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Few works have focused on studying mortality in prisons. The objective here is to study the causes and incidences of mortality in a Spanish prison. Methods: Descriptive study of the deaths in a prison between 01-01-1994 and 31-12-2004. The following variables were recorded: sex, date of death, HIV serology, number of CD4+ where relevant, and cause of death according to the following classification: death by HIV, by non-HIV disease, suicide, drug overdose and accidents. After indirect standardisation of incidence, we compared mortality in the Centre with the other Spanish prisons. We established mortality rate tendencies by a linear regression model. Results: 42 deaths, 41 men, 1 woman. Median age 33.10 years (27.72 - 36.12; IQR: 8.40). 30 (71.4%) HIV+, with a median of 177 CD4+ lymphocytes/µl. Twenty patients (45.24%) died from HIV, 15 (38.10%) from non-HIV diseases, 3 (7.14%) from suicide, 3 (7.14%) from drug overdose and 1 (2.38%) accidentally. Crude mortality rates corresponded to 12.605‰ of inmates/year in 1997 and 1.758‰ inmates/year in 2003, with a decreasing trend of 0.976 deaths ‰ inmates/year (CI 95%: 0.399-1.552; p=0.004). After standardising rates, we obtain 28.6 expected deaths during the period, with an SMR of 1.4679. Conclusions: Although it follows a decreasing trend, the mortality rate obtained during the study period was higher than expected. The main cause of mortality was acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Keywords : Mortality; Prison; HIV; trend.

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