0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

A Long-term Follow-up of Male Alcohol Abuse

George E. Vaillant, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(3):243-249. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830030065010.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  This study attempted to determine the course of male alcohol abuse from the age of 40 years to 60 or 70 years, to estimate the duration of abstinence required for stable remission and to study the hypothesis of progression of symptoms in chronic alcohol abuse.

Methods:  The subjects were 268 former Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass) undergraduates (college sample) and 456 nondelinquent inner-city adolescents (core city sample) who had been repeatedly studied in multidisciplinary fashion since 1940. Since 47 years of age, these men have been followed up biennially by questionnaire and every 5 years by physical examination. At some point during their lives, 55 (21%) of the college and 150 (33%) of the core city men met DSMIII criteria for alcohol abuse. The college cohort has been followed until the age of 70 years, the core city cohort until age 60 years. The dependent variables were mortality and alcohol abuse status every 5 years.

Results:  By 60 years of age, 18% of the college alcohol abusers had died, 11% were abstinent, 11% were controlled drinkers, and 59% were known to be still abusing alcohol. By 60 years of age, 28% of the core city alcohol abusers had died, 30% were abstinent, 11% were controlled drinkers, and only 28% were known to be still abusing alcohol.

Conclusions:  In three respects the two socially divergent samples resembled each other. After abstinence had been maintained for 5 years, relapse was rare. In contrast, return to controlled drinking without eventual relapse was unlikely. Alcohol abuse could continue for decades without remission or progression of symptoms. The samples differed in that the core city men began to abuse alcohol when younger and, although they were more likely than the college men to become alcohol dependent, the core city men were twice as likely to achieve stable abstinence.

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();