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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Prevalence of alcohol problems among adult somatic in-patients of a Copenhagen hospital

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The adult patients of somatic departments of a Copenhagen hospital were screened on a randomly selected day during a 14 day period by interviewers who examined them using a structured questionnaire regarding life-style. A patient was considered having an alcohol problem if one or more of the following criteria was fulfilled: (1) a self-reported daily alcohol consumption for at least 2 years of at least 60 g of ethanol in men and 36 g in women, (2) a Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) score of or above 5, (3) an alcohol-related discharge diagnosis. In total, 692 patients fulfilled the entry criteria, but 181 patients (26.2%) had to be excluded owing to predefined exclusion criteria (terminal illness, dementia, etc.), and 74 patients (14.5%) refused to participate. Among the 437 interviewed patients, 125 patients (28.6%; 95%-confidence limits 24.4-33.1%) fulfilled one or more of the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol problem. Only 14 patients (3.2%; 95%-confidence limits 1.8-5.3%) had an alcohol-related discharge diagnosis. The prevalence of patients with alcohol problems was significantly (P <0.05) higher among male patients (82 of 171 men (48.0%; 95%-confidence limits 40.3-55.7%)) than among female patients (43 of 266 women (16.2%; 95%-confidence limits 12.0-21.2%)). The prevalence of patients with alcohol problems was 32.4% (95%-confidence limits 25.5-39.8%) in internal medicine departments, 28.5% (95%-confidence limits 21.3-36.6%) in surgical departments, and of female patients 22.2% (95%-confidence limits 13.7-32.8%) in the department of gynaecology and obstetrics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume29
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
ISSN0735-0414
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1994

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholism, Comorbidity, Confidence Intervals, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Patient Admission, Prospective Studies, Urban Population

ID: 32565913