Mood disorders and severity of addiction in alcohol-dependent patients could be mediated by sex differences

Raul F. Palma-Álvarez, Laia Rodríguez-Cintas, Alfonso C. Abad, Marta Sorribes, Elena Ros-Cucurull, María Robles-Martínez, Lara Grau-López, Lourdes Aguilar, Carlos Roncero

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© 2019 Palma-Álvarez, Rodríguez-Cintas, Abad, Sorribes, Ros-Cucurull, Robles-Martínez, Grau-López, Aguilar and Roncero. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Background: Alcohol dependence is highly prevalent in the general population; some differences in alcohol use and dependence between women and men have been described, including outcomes and ranging from biological to social variables. This study aims to compare the severity of alcohol dependence with clinical and psychopathological characteristics between sexes. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in alcohol-dependent outpatients; the recruitment period was 7 years. The assessment of these patients was carried out by obtaining sociodemographic characteristics and using the Semi-structured Clinical Interview for Axis I and II (SCID-I and SCID-II), European version of the Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scales. Variables were compared and analyzed. Results: The sample was composed of 178 patients (74.2% males and 25.8% females) with a mean age of 46.52 ± 9.86. No sociodemographic differences were found between men and women. Females had a higher rate of suicide attempts and depression symptoms at the treatment onset. When results of EuropASI were compared, females had worse psychological and employment results than males. According to consumption variables, males had an earlier onset of alcohol use, had more regular alcohol use, and develop alcohol dependence earlier than females. Conclusions: According to results, there are sex-dependent differences (severity and other variables such as mood or suicide) in alcohol dependence. Thus, this may implicate the need of future specific research and treatment programs based on the specific necessities of each sex.
Original languageEnglish
Article number343
Pages (from-to)343
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Alcohol
  • Dependence
  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Severity
  • Sex differences
  • Suicide attempts


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