Mortality cohort guidelines

Series type: Technical reports


Drug-related mortality is a complex phenomenon, which accounts for a considerable percentage of deaths among young people in many European countries. The EMCDDA, in collaboration with national experts, has defined an epidemiological indicator with two components at present: deaths directly caused by illegal drugs (drug-induced deaths) and mortality rates among problem drug users. These two components can fulfil several public health and methodological objectives, notably as an indicator of the overall health impact of drug use and the components of this impact. This standard protocol focuses on the second component (mortality). It provides national focal points and experts with a guide for carrying out,analysing and reporting to the EMCDDA the key figures on mortality among drug users. It describes the features of the Fonte web-based interface which allow the Member States to report their mortality data to the EMCDDA. Each centre must adopt specific and effective procedures to ensure the absolute confidentiality of the information gathered and that the appropriate legislation on data protection, ethical approval and consent are respected.  

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Table of contents

  • Introduction/objectives
  • Carrying out mortality studies among drug users
  • Data analysis: rates, confidence intervals and adjustment for differences in age distribution
  • Strengths and limitations
  • References

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