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Am J Cardiol. 1997 Aug 15;80(4):481-5.

Comparison of alcoholic cardiomyopathy in women versus men.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, University of Barcelona, Spain.


To compare the prevalence and cardiac status of male and female alcoholics with alcoholic cardiomyopathy during a 5-year period, all chronic alcoholics with dilated cardiomyopathy who had clinical symptoms of heart failure were included. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy was diagnosed in 10 chronic alcoholic women and in 26 men; the prevalence of alcoholic cardiomyopathy was similar in both sexes. No significant differences were observed in age, nutritional parameters, and clinical and radiologic data of heart failure between the 2 groups. Alcoholic women reported a significantly lower daily dose of ethanol (p = 0.002), a shorter duration of alcoholism (p = 0.017), and a lower total lifetime dose of ethanol consumption (p = 0.001), and had a lower New York Heart Association functional class than men. Women also had lesser ventricular dysfunction than men. In a multivariate analysis, left ventricular systolic dysfunction was related to the total lifetime dose of ethanol consumption (p <0.04), but not to gender. Finally, when patients were matched for left ventricular ejection fraction, women had consumed a lower total lifetime dose of ethanol than men (p <0.001). The prevalence of alcoholic women with dilated cardiomyopathy was found to be similar to that of alcoholic men, although women required a lower total lifetime dose of ethanol to develop the disease.

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