European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 257, Issue 6, pp 344–351

Alcoholism in women: is it different in onset and outcome compared to men?

  • Alexander Diehl
  • Bernhard Croissant
  • Anil Batra
  • Götz Mundle
  • Helmut Nakovics
  • Karl Mann
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s00406-007-0737-z

Cite this article as:
Diehl, A., Croissant, B., Batra, A. et al. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosc (2007) 257: 344. doi:10.1007/s00406-007-0737-z

Abstract

Onset and course of alcohol dependence show gender related differences (telescoping effect) suggesting that women are more vulnerable to chronic alcohol consumption. This raises the question whether the differences are associated with a different treatment outcome as well. We hypothesized, that alcohol dependent women with a telescoping course show a less favourable treatment outcome compared to men. We investigated 212 alcohol dependent patients; matching 106 consecutively admitted women with 106 men drawn from a total sample of 343 male patients. The treatment program consisted of a 6 week inpatient treatment and 12 months of outpatient aftercare. We assessed milestone variables in development and course of alcoholism and carried out standardized diagnostic tests, physical and blood examinations to evaluate the course of the disease and treatment outcome. Overall, we confirm the telescoping effect, a faster progression in the course of alcoholism (developmental events and adverse consequences) in women compared to men (“telescoping effect”). However, despite the telescoping effect treatment outcome was similar in women and men. During the inpatient treatment program no alcohol relapse occurred. Throughout the 12 months outpatient treatment we found no significant differences in the survival analysis between women (283.29 ± 11.26 days) and men (284.72 ± 12.16 days). At the end of the 12 months both groups had an abstinence rate of approximately 50% and a drop-out rate of 33%.

Key words

alcoholgenderoutcomepredictorswomen

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Diehl
    • 1
  • Bernhard Croissant
    • 1
  • Anil Batra
    • 2
  • Götz Mundle
    • 2
  • Helmut Nakovics
    • 1
  • Karl Mann
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, MannheimUniversity of HeidelbergMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Dept. of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of TuebingenTuebingenGermany