The risk of death for jehovah’s witnesses after major trauma

J. Esteban Varela, Orlando Gomez-Marin, Lora E. Fleming, Stephen M. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Trauma surgeons are faced with life-threatening blood loss in patients such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. We assessed and compared the risks of death after major trauma for Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religious groups. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted between August 1992 and September 1999 ina Level I academic trauma center. Statistical Methods: included Tukey’s one-way analysis of variance, χ2 analysis, and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results: The cohort consisted of 556 patients: 82 Jehovah’s Witnesses (14.7%), 52 Baptists (9.4%), 101 Catholics (18.2%), and 321 patients belonging to other religious groups (57.7%). Mean Injury Severity Scores for 433 patients were 10.3 ± 9, 8.9 ± 10, 10.3 ± 11, and 11.3 ± 14, respectively. There were no significant differences in mean Injury Severity Scores between religious groups, and no statistically significant associations between religion and Injury Severity Scores were identified. Significant predictors of mortality were age, systolic blood pressure at admission, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and type of trauma. Jehovah’s Witnesses were 6% more likely to die after major trauma than Baptists, 20% more likely than Catholics, and as likely as patients from any other religious groups.Conclusion After controlling for age, race, systolic blood pressure, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and type of trauma, Jehovah’sWitnesses have a nonsignificant increased risk of death after major trauma compared with other religious groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-972
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Major trauma
  • Risk of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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