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Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Dec;147(12):1662-6.

Long-term predictors of outcome in abstinent alcoholic men.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Twenty-nine alcoholic men who had been abstinent for more than 2 years were evaluated behaviorally and neuroendocrinologically and then followed for 2 years. Mean length of abstinence at intake was shorter in the eight patients with histories of depression (3.3 years) than in the patients without such histories (6.8 years). Six patients relapsed during follow-up, all of whom had been sober less than 5 years. None of the neuroendocrine variables studied was predictive of outcome. In summary, abstinence of less than 5 years and comorbidity with depression were most predictive of poor outcome.

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