Effects of alcohol abuse and familial alcoholism on physical health in men and women.

S. W. Glenn, O. A. Parsons, L. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Detoxified alcoholic men (n = 76) and women (n = 72) and nonalcoholic control men (n = 50) and women (n = 51) were given a structured interview that assessed five categories of physical health: medical history, alcohol-related disorders, trauma history, drug use history, and, for females, female-related disorders. Approximately half the subjects in each group were family history positive for alcoholism. Significant differences between alcoholics and controls were found for all five categories; family history effects were significant for four of the five categories, and sex differences were present in two categories. The results indicate that (a) alcoholics suffer pervasive physical health difficulties, (b) a family history of alcoholism is predictive of health problems in both alcoholics and controls, (c) the effects of alcohol abuse and family history of alcoholism on health appear to be independent and additive, and (d) women may be more "illness prone" than men and exhibit an increased vulnerability to the adverse effects of alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-341
Number of pages17
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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