Alcohol abuse and dependence in elderly emergency department patients

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
S-Hakki OnenJeannot Schmidt


Although elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol, alcohol use disorders in late life have received relatively little attention in the literature. Our objectives were to assess the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (abuse and dependence), the medical profile and psychosocial characteristics in elderly people visiting emergency department (ED). A cohort of 2405 patients aged over 60 who came to the ED of a university hospital during a 3-month period was studied. Alcohol use disorder diagnosis (DSM-IV), medical profile and social characteristics were collected from retrospective review of patient files. The data derived from 128 patients (mean age, 69.8+/-6.8 years; 87% males) with alcohol use disorders and 128 non-alcoholic controls. The prevalence of current alcohol use disorder was 5.3%. The most common current alcohol-induced disorders were alcohol intoxication and alcohol-induced mood disorder. Social factors associated with alcohol use disorders were being homeless, living alone, being divorced and never married. Falls and delirium were frequent ED admission circumstances in elderly drinkers. Drinkers more commonly presented with gastrointestinal disorders. In conclusion, alcohol use di...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Alcohol Abuse
Accident and Emergency Department
Retrospective Studies
Nested Case-Control Studies
Sex Distribution
Alcohol-Induced Disorders

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