Mortality post inpatient alcohol detoxification: a descriptive case series

Langan-Martin, J. , McLaughlin, A., Brodie, A. and Shajahan, P. (2013) Mortality post inpatient alcohol detoxification: a descriptive case series. Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 1(5), p. 129. (doi: 10.4172/2329-6488.1000129)

88600.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Publisher's URL:


<br>Background: Individuals with alcohol dependence often die prematurely. Scotland in particular has high rates of alcohol misuse compared to the rest of the UK and Europe. Although there is some evidence that rates of alcoholrelated harm and alcohol-related deaths are reducing in Europe, there is little evidence of this trend occurring in Scotland. Inpatient detoxification is an important, but expensive, option in the management of alcohol dependence. Little work has been done with regard possible clinical characteristics associated with mortality post discharge in this cohort of patients.</br> <br>Methods: Retrospective electronic records were used to identify patients admitted electively for alcohol detoxification into a psychiatric ward in a district general hospital under the care of a single consultant addiction psychiatrist between 1/1/05 and 31/12/07 inclusively. Demographic and clinical factors were recorded. 5-year mortality data was obtained by linkage to the National Records of Scotland.</br> <br>Results: 25.2% of patients admitted for elective alcohol detoxification died during the 5-year follow up period. 42.9% of deaths (n=12) were due to alcoholic liver disease, one death (3.6%) was of undetermined intent. A higher proportion of the deceased cohort was likely to have continued disulfiram (93% vs. 80%) and acamprosate (81% vs. 60%) than those surviving. There was no statistically significant difference in survival between individuals on medication and those not on medications in our cohort. The average consumption of units of alcohol per week in the deceased cohort was significantly higher than that calculated for the surviving cohort (298.8 units vs. 233.3 units p=0.0137).</br> <br>Conclusion: Inpatient detoxification was associated with significant mortality at 5-year follow up post- discharge. The majority of deaths were due to liver disease while deaths due to accidents and of undetermined intent were relatively infrequent. Increased education and practical strategies such as “space and pace” aimed both at an individual and societal level to reduce alcohol consumption may help to reduce mortality associated with alcohol dependence post inpatient detoxification.</br>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shajahan, Dr Polash and Langan-Martin, Dr Julie
Authors: Langan-Martin, J., McLaughlin, A., Brodie, A., and Shajahan, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Journal Abbr.:JALDD
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence 1(5):129
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record