Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alcoholism May Be Especially Dangerous for Women

Alcoholism is deadly, and a new study shows that it may be more so for women. In fact, alcoholism may be twice as fatal for women as for men, according to an online report October 16 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Researchers drew a random sample of the general population in one region of Germany, out of which they identified 153 alcohol-dependent individuals. For 149 of them, vital status information was provided 14 years later. 

The researchers found that annualized death rates were 4.6-fold higher for women and 1.9-fold higher for men, compared with the age- and sex-matched general population of the region. Moreover, for both men and women, alcoholism appeared to contribute more to early death than other prominent factors, including smoking. Other findings were that having participated in inpatient alcohol dependence treatment was not related to longer survival and that poor self-rated health predicted mortality. An abstract of the study is posted here.

To read about a potential biomarker for alcohol dependence, see Psychiatric News here. For a review of options for treating alcohol disorders, see Clinical Manual for Treatment of Alcoholism and Addictions from American Psychiatric Publishing.

(Image: Kzenon/


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