Sunday, October 3, 2010
Web of Science returned an article from the Archives of Toxicology titled "Munich Oktoberfest experience: remarkable impact of sex and age in ethanol intoxication." Bingo!
Oktoberfest traditionally starts in the third weekend in September and ends the first Sunday of October. So today is the last day to celebrate, make it a good one. According to Munich's Oktoberfest History Page, when Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810 the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities. These festivities were held on the fields in front of the city gates, fields that were later renamed Theresienwiese, or "Theres'a Fields," (now just called "Wiesn") to honor the princess. The royal family attended horse races at the close of the event, and the decision to repeat the races annually gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. In subsequent years other attractions and activities were added such as an agricultural show, carosels and swings, and beer stands. Today Oktoberfest is the largest celebration in the world!
According to the article, approximately 6 million individuals visited Oktoberfest in Munich in 2004. About 5,000 of these individuals had to undergo medical treatment for various reasons. Intoxication, as you probably surmised, is one of the biggest concerns when a patient seeks medical attention. This study took a look at the large number of individuals suffering from alcohol intoxication with the goal to identify risk factors and optimize patient management.