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Alcoholism Reduces Life Expectancy

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fighting-alcoholism-late-nightThere’s no surprise here: the effects of alcohol addiction can shorten your lifespan.

The study on Alcoholism

An observational study published in European Psychiatry conducted by scientists in various general hospitals throughout Manchester, England found that alcoholism can shorten your life by an average of 7.6 years. Over the course of 12.5 years, researchers analyzed comorbid (presence of one or more illnesses) physical illnesses of 23,371 hospital patients who had an addiction to alcohol and compared them to 233,710 random patients without alcoholism.

Professor and Dr. Reinhard Heun of the Royal Derby Hospital in England, one of the head researchers, found that approximately one out of five hospitalized patients with alcoholism died, while only one out of 12 of the random nonalcoholic patients found the same result. The large number of patients in the control group enabled a highly sophisticated assessment and the long observation period made it possible to also record gradually ­developing symptoms for different illnesses.

With alcoholism comes additional illness

Additional health risks come with alcohol addiction, which could be a big reason that lifespan is decreased. The study also found that a total of 27 illnesses were naturally associated in patients with alcohol addiction. These included complications in the liver, pancreas, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. The most common direct effects of alcoholism are cirrhosis of the liver, anemia, heart disease, depression, seizures and gout ­ just to name a few.

What the researchers are saying

From their point of view, scientists believe that this heightened mortality rate of patients with alcoholism makes it clear that addiction is a major cause of additional illnesses that must be treated at an earlier stage. Mental problems are just as important to treat as physical. “Through diligent screening and early treatment of concomitant mental and physical illnesses, it should be possible to significantly increase the life expectancy of alcoholic patients,” said Huen.

There’s always hope

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, The Watershed can help. Call today: 1-­800-­861­-1768.

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