Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Blogs  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 

 Headlines:

 

Category: Family Medicine | Gynecology | Dependence | Preventive Medicine | News

Back to Health News

Alcoholism Shortens Life More Than Smoking: Study

Last Updated: October 16, 2012.

 

Women have the highest risk of dying prematurely, researchers report

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Women have the highest risk of dying prematurely, researchers report.

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that people who are alcohol-dependent, particularly women, may be cutting their lives even shorter than smokers.

In the study, German researchers found death rates were 4.6-fold higher among alcohol-dependent women and 1.9-fold higher among alcohol-dependent men, compared with the general population.

"This paper confirms the well-known association between alcoholism and premature death," said Dr. James Garbutt, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, who was not involved in the study. "It also supports the evidence that women are more likely to have more severe health problems from alcohol than men -- 'sicker quicker.' "

The report was published online Oct. 16 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

For the study, lead by Ulrich John, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at University Medicine Greifswald, the researchers collected data on more than 4,000 men and women who were part of a German registry and followed for 14 years.

Among these people, 153 were identified as alcohol-dependent.

"First, we found that annualized death rates were 4.6-fold higher for females and 1.9-fold higher for males compared to the age- and gender-specific general population," John said in a statement.

"Second, we found that the mean age at death was 60 for females and 58 for males, both of which are about 20 years lower than the mean age at death among the general population," he added. "None of those deceased had reached the age of life expectancy."

"Third, having participated in inpatient alcohol-dependent treatment was not related with longer survival compared to not having taken part in treatment, meaning that it did not seem to have a sufficient protective effect against premature death," John said.

Drinking appears to contribute more to early death than other risk factors, such as smoking, he noted.

Smoking-related deaths are often due to cancers, which usually occur later in life than deaths from alcohol abuse, he noted. In addition, drinking can contribute to other risk factors such as smoking and obesity, John said.

"The finding that treatment was not protective is of interest, though the reasons are not clear," Garbutt said. "A caveat is that the study is small, so strong conclusions are not possible."

Bruce Goldman, director of substance abuse services at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said that "alcohol dependence is a chronic and sometimes fatal disease. There is evidence that the impact of alcohol can be more devastating in women than men."

People who are alcohol-dependent need to seek help, Goldman said: "Get help, or you may be literally drinking away years of your life."

The study showed an association between alcohol dependence and early death, but did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

More information

For more on alcoholism, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: James Garbutt, M.D., professor, psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Bruce Goldman, director, Substance Abuse Services, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Oct. 16, 2012, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, online

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Previous: Brain Recovery From Alcoholism Seen Soon After Abstinence: Study Next: Multivitamins Won't Boost Standard HIV Care, Study Finds

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.