6% of Ore. 8th-graders play 'choking game'

May 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., May 21 (UPI) -- About 6 percent of Oregon eighth-grade teens said they have engaged in the "choking game," researchers found.

Sarah K. Ramowski, Robert J. Nystrom and Dr. Kenneth D. Rosenberg, all of the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division in Portland, used data from the 2009 Oregon Healthy Teens survey.

The survey was a cross-sectional weighted survey of 5,348 eighth-graders that questioned lifetime prevalence and frequency of choking game participation.

The survey also included questions about physical and mental health, gambling, sexual activity, nutrition, physical activity/body image, exposure to violence and substance use.

Sixty-four percent of the eighth-grade choking game study participants said they had engaged in the activity more than once and 26.6 percent more than five times, the study said.

Black youth were more likely to participate than white youth, but Pacific Islander youth were much more likely to participate than white youth, the researchers said.

The choking, or fainting game, involves intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain to achieve a "high" without drugs.

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

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