Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Women Alcoholics Get 'Sicker Quicker'

Why we promote gender specific addiction treatment programs

If you are an addiction treatment professional, then you are aware that there are significant differences in how woman and men present when they finally seek help for their alcoholism. It is for this reason that programs are designed to offer gender specific treatment programs. The fact is women and men are different: physically, emotionally, and psychologically. They face different problems in their day to day lives. Women's unique concerns may be complicated by child-care constraints, employment dynamics, abusive relationships, pregnancy, and specific female medical issues. Now new research suggests that alcohol dependent people may cut their lives even shorter than smokers, but particularly this appears truer for women.

14 year study examines alcohol dependency

The journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research offers an early view online version of the study: Excess Mortality of Alcohol-Dependent Individuals After 14 Years and Mortality Predictors Based on Treatment Participation and Severity of Alcohol Dependence.  The study's lead researcher was Ulrich John, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the University Medicine Greifswald. The study's methods were:
  1. Researchers collected data on 4,070 German men and women.
  2. The subjects were followed for 14 years.
  3. 153 of these subjects were identified as alcohol dependent.
  4. For 149 of the 153 subjects status was provided 14 years later.

Study's results

  • Annualized death rates were 4.6 fold higher for females and 1.9 fold higher for males, as compared to the general population.
  • The mean age at death was 60 for women and 58 for men, both of which are 20 years lower than the mean age of death in the general population.
  • Participation in inpatient alcohol-dependent treatment was not related to longer survival.
  • Drinking appears to contribute more to early death than other medical risk factors, like smoking.

Observations about this study

According to a U.S. News and World Reports' HealthDay article, Dr. James Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina offers: "This paper confirms the well-known association between alcoholism and premature death. It also supports the evidence that women are more likely to have more severe health problems from alcohol than men -- 'sicker quicker.'"

Dr. Garbutt went on to say that: "The finding that treatment was not protective is of interest, though the reasons are not clear. A caveat is that the study is small, so strong conclusions are not possible."

As with many studies, a cause and effect link between alcohol dependence and early death was not proven, but the study's results emphasizes the risk factors associated with alcohol dependence. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!