Which relapse criteria best predict the mortality risk of treated alcoholics?

Aihide Yoshino, Motoichiro Kato, Haruo Yoshimasu, Yasutaka Tatsuzawa, Tamotsu Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We examined which relapse criteria best predict the mortality risk of treated male alcoholics. The subjects were 172 male alcoholics who had previously been hospitalized. Using three criteria which defined relapse as failure to maintain abstinence from alcohol, alcohol abuse, or dependence, the relapse of each subject had been evaluated during a previous 3-year outcome study. Relative mortality risks in the next 3 years classified by the three relapse criteria were compared. The follow-up rate was 93.6% and 31 subjects died. The age-corrected relative mortality risk for subjects failing to maintain abstinence compared with abstainers was 5.32, while the relative mortality risks for the group abusing alcohol and for the group suffering alcohol dependence were 2.23 and 2.56, respectively. These results suggest that relapse defined as failure to maintain abstinence predicts a higher relative mortality risk than do criteria defining in terms of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1378
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan 1


  • Alcoholism
  • Mortality
  • Outcome
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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