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Alcohol. 1985 May-Jun;2(3):501-5.

Hyperventilation, anxiety, craving for alcohol: a subacute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.


Hyperventilation leading to respiratory alkalosis is part of the acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome On the basis of clinical observations and a literature review on withdrawal symptoms the following was hypothesized: (a) hyperventilation is also part of a subacute alcohol withdrawal syndrome and (b) hyperventilation appears together with anxiety and craving for alcohol. These hypotheses were tested in a sample of 37 male alcoholic inpatients, abstinent for periods from several weeks to 9 months. Subjects were administered a questionnaire dealing with drinking history and craving for alcohol during abstinence, the Spielberger Anxiety Inventory and a hyperventilation complaint checklist. Subjects' disposition to hyperventilation was assessed during a physiological measurement session. Results show that hyperventilatory symptoms, anxiety and craving for alcohol appear together. Moreover, the severity of hyperventilatory and anxiety symptomatology is positively correlated with the duration of physically dependent alcohol use but not with the duration of excessive drinking per se, irrespective of age. These results corroborate the hypotheses outlined before.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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