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Friday, April 3, 2015

Higher Mortality Rates Tied to Alcohol Use

Habitual alcohol use can lead to a number of health problems, leading to a higher mortality rate for alcohol dependent patients. Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Bonn found that, when compared to those without a history of alcohol use, alcohol dependent patients pass away 7.6 years earlier, Science Daily reports. The need for earlier and more intensive psychotherapeutic support is being called for by the researchers.

The research was conducted by Dr. Schoepf and Prof. Dr. Reinhard Heun from the Royal Derby Hospital; they evaluated patient data from seven general hospitals in Manchester, England. The study’s findings drew from over 12.5-years of data, the researchers analyzed co-morbid physical illnesses of 23,371 hospital patients with alcohol dependence, according to the article. The researchers found that 27 concomitant illnesses affect people with alcohol addiction more often.

Prof. Heun summarized the result: "During the observation period, approximately one out of five hospital patients with alcoholism died in one of the hospitals, while only one out of twelve patients in the control group died."

"Mental problems as well as significant physical health impairments are associated with alcohol addiction," says Dr. Dieter Schoepf from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University of Bonn Hospital. "Alcoholics who were treated in British general hospitals for health problems die an average of 7.6 years earlier than non-alcohol dependent patients; this is due to the interaction of several concomitant physical illnesses," reports the scientist.

"Patients with addiction problems are often admitted to hospitals as emergency cases. At the time of diagnosis, priority is then given to the acute symptoms -- this may contribute to the fact that not all physical illnesses are recorded," says Dr. Schoepf.

The findings were published in the journal European Psychiatry.

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