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First-time admissions with alcohol-related medical problems: a 10-year follow-up of a national sample of alcoholic patients.
Piette JD, Barnett PG, Moos RH. First-time admissions with alcohol-related medical problems: a 10-year follow-up of a national sample of alcoholic patients. Journal of Studies On Alcohol. 1998 Jan 1; 59(1):89-96.
OBJECTIVE: We estimated the rate of first-time hospital admission over 10 years with alcohol-related medical problems among a large national sample of patients with diagnosed alcohol abuse disorders. METHOD: We identified a nationwide cohort of all patients (N = 46,680) discharged in 1980 from all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers with alcohol-related diagnoses. Two comparison cohorts also were identified: patients with musculoskeletal disorders (N = 18,231) and a random sample of nonalcoholic patients (N = 45,204). Using secondary databases, ICD-9-CM coded diagnostic information was collected for all VA inpatient admissions these patients experienced over the decade following their index hospitalizations. Admission rates within age strata and age/race standardized rates were computed. Adjusted rate ratios were estimated using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Alcoholic patients were at substantial risk of admission for multiple medical disorders. Admission rates varied for patients of different ages. Those who were between 50 and 59 years of age during their index hospital stay were at the highest risk of admission with an alcohol-related medical disease over the subsequent decade. CONCLUSIONS: The admission rates for these medical disorders among alcoholic patients provide an important baseline estimate of individual patients' risk profiles and may help providers set priorities among diagnostic tests.