Background: The association between alcohol use disorders and increased risk of mortality is well known; however, there have been few systematic evaluations of alcohol-related organ damage and its impact on survival in younger alcoholics. Therefore, we assessed medical comorbidity with a clinical index to identify subgroups of alcoholic patients at high risk of premature death. Methods: Hospital-based cohort of alcohol-dependent patients admitted for detoxification between 1999 and 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. At admission, sociodemographic characteristics and a history of alcohol dependence and abuse of illegal drugs were obtained through clinical interviews and questionnaires. Medical comorbidity was assessed with the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (Substance Abuse) (CIRS-SA). Dates and causes of death were obtained from clinical records and death registers. Survival was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier methods, and Cox regression models were used to analyze the risk factors for premature death. Results: Median age of the patients (686 total, 79.7% men) was 43.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 37.8 to 50.4), average alcohol consumption was 200 g/d (IQR, 120 to 280 g/d), and duration of alcohol use disorder was 18 years (IQR, 11 to 24). Medical comorbidity by CIRS-SA at admission showed that the organs/systems most affected were liver (99%), respiratory (86%), and cardiovascular (58%). After median follow-up of 3.1 years (IQR, 1.5 to 5.1), 78 (11.4%) patients died with a mortality rate of 3.28 × 100 person-years; according to Kaplan-Meier estimates, 50% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 24 to 69%) of patients with severe medical comorbidity died in the first decade after treatment. In multivariate analysis, severe medical comorbidity (hazard ratio [HR], 5.5; 95% CI, 3.02 to 10.07) and being treated with methadone at admission (HR, 2.60; 95% CI, 1.50 to 4.51) were independent risk factors for premature death. Conclusions: Systematic assessment of alcohol-related organ damage is relevant for the identification and treatment of those at increased risk of death. © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
|Journal||Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2013|