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Am J Psychiatry. 1989 Mar;146(3):318-23.

RDC alcoholism in patients with major affective syndromes: two-year course.

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  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.


The authors examined the 2-year course of alcoholism as defined by Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) in 127 newly admitted patients with major affective syndromes and concurrent alcoholism at intake. The cumulative probability of remission (at least 6 months free of alcohol problems) in these patients was 0.67. Many of the remissions began within a few weeks of intake; the remaining were distributed over the follow-up period. Of the patients without remissions, 17% died, half by suicide. Diagnoses of schizoaffective disorder, indicators of alcohol dependence, and previous chronicity of alcohol problems predicted poor outcome of alcoholism, but none of these variables predicted subsequent relapse.

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