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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1994 Oct;18(5):1177-86.

Predictors of mortality in alcoholic women: a 20-year follow-up study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Very little is known about the factors that predict mortality in female alcoholics. This study investigates these predictors in 103 female alcoholics who were psychiatrically hospitalized between 1967 and 1968 and followed for over 20 years. The findings showed that age, benders, and/or delirium tremens, comorbidity, and 3-year posttreatment drinking status were associated with time to death. That older alcoholics and those with pathological drinking within 3 years after treatment had a significantly shorter time to death was not surprising. However, the association of benders with mortality indicated that women may be very sensitive to short periods of high concentrations of alcohol. Comorbidity also had an intriguing effect in that women with a history of depression were more likely to survive. The predictors of mortality in these female alcoholics differed from those of the male alcoholics in this sample. These differences will be discussed in future publications.

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