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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Alcohol consumption and later risk of hospitalization with psychiatric disorders: Prospective cohort study

The potential effects of alcohol intake upon the risk of psychiatric disorders have not often been investigated. 

The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a population sample, the association between self-reported amount of alcohol intake and the later risk of being registered in a Danish hospital with a psychiatric disorder. 

The prospective cohort study, the Copenhagen City Heart Study (n = 18,146), was used, containing three updated sets of alcohol intake and lifestyle covariates and up to 26 years follow-up. Alcohol intake was measured by self-report while psychiatric disorders were measured through registers. 

For women, the overall pattern showed that drinking above the sensible limits increased the risk of psychiatric disorders in general, especially for anxiety disorders where women drinking above the sensible drinking limits had a risk of 2.00 (confidence interval: 1.31–3.04) compared to women drinking below the sensible drinking limits. 

For men, the risk functions were slightly U-shaped; thus, a weekly low or moderate alcohol intake seemed to have a protective effect towards developing psychiatric disorders. 

The findings suggest sex differences in the association between alcohol consumption and risk of psychiatric disorders.

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