Hypothermia and acute alcohol intoxication in Dutch adolescents: The relationship between core and outdoor temperatures

Claire J. Schreurs*, Joris J. Van Hoof, Nico van der Lely

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate hypothermia and its potential association with core and outdoor temperatures in adolescents suffering from acute alcohol intoxication. Methods: Data were derived from the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance System, which monitors alcohol intoxication among all Dutch adolescents. Adolescents < 18 years of age with a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC > 0 g/l) were included. This resulted in an analysis of data from the years 2011 to 2015 that were obtained through a total of 967 questionnaires. Results: This study revealed small but significantly lower core temperatures in winter time (35.59°C [96.06°F]) versus summer time (35.83°C [96.49°F]). These differences could not be attributed to the genders and ages of the patients. In winter time, 26.6% of the adolescents experienced mild hypothermia, with body temperatures of 32.00–34.99°C (89.60–94.98°F), compared to 18.0% during the summer. Although not significant, amounts of time spent in reduced consciousness, hospitalized and receiving intensive care were prolonged in adolescents with lower core temperatures. Conclusions: This article is the first to describe this trend of hypothermia among alcohol-intoxicated Dutch adolescents admitted during winter time. These findings are important for awareness of this issue and can be used for prevention strategies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-453
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of substance use
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • Adolescent
  • alcohol intoxication
  • hypothermia


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