Posted on 31 janvier 2022 by Isabelle de Botton on Sober living

A deep dive into the genetics of alcohol consumption

Research has consistently shown that individuals with alcoholism have a reduced lifespan compared to the general population, highlighting the need for early intervention, treatment, and support. Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that can have severe physical and mental health consequences. It is well-known that heavy drinking can lead to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serious health problems, which can shorten an alcoholic’s lifespan. However, it is possible to increase an alcoholic’s lifespan by taking steps to manage the disease and improve overall health. It is important to note that recovery from alcoholism and adopting a healthier lifestyle can positively impact life expectancy. Alcoholism takes a toll on various organ systems in the body, leading to a range of long-term health effects that contribute to decreased life expectancy.

For example, alcoholics will continue to drink despite it causing them negative consequences. Binge drinking is a common practice affecting 1 in 6 American adults, resulting in the consumption of 17 billion drinks each year. Binge drinking can be temporary or occur often, sometimes signaling the threat of future heavy drinking or alcohol abuse.

How to Support Liver Function

People with AUD have among the highest all-cause mortality of all people who receive treatment for mental disorders (2, 3). A meta-analysis that included 81 observational studies from many countries showed that people with AUD have three-fold higher mortality in men and four-fold higher mortality in women than the general population (4). In all people who have AUD, mortality is relatively higher in women, younger people and people in treatment for addiction (4). However, comprehensive mortality data over time of patients with AUD are not available from Nordic countries.

Understanding the research and statistics surrounding the life expectancy of alcoholics emphasizes the importance of addressing alcohol use disorder as a significant public health concern. Seeking help, early intervention, and accessing appropriate treatment options are essential steps towards improving outcomes and potentially extending the life expectancy of individuals struggling with alcoholism. One of the most well-known health consequences of alcoholism is liver disease, including cirrhosis.

How Does An Alcoholic’s Physical Health Impact Their Average Lifespan?

Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), provide a supportive community and a platform for sharing experiences and seeking guidance. Furthermore, alcohol abuse can cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy, a condition characterized by weakened heart muscles. This can lead to heart failure and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, ultimately impacting life expectancy.

Additionally, compromised immune function due to alcohol abuse makes individuals more susceptible to infections and other serious health complications. A study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism found that the average life expectancy of individuals with alcoholism was significantly lower compared to the general population. The study examined the life expectancy of over 1,000 alcohol-dependent individuals and found that they had a reduced lifespan by approximately 10 to 12 years compared to non-alcohol-dependent individuals.

Stage #1: Occasional Alcohol Use And Binge Drinking

Years of chronic alcohol consumption have ravaged their body and mind, and their lives revolve around little else other than the bottle. Despite efforts to hide their addiction, their drinking problem is quite obvious to others. Work performance usually suffers how long do alcoholics live at this stage, and impairment in the workplace is common. Middle-stage alcoholics may become irritable or angry if confronted about their drinking. By the time they’ve reached the third and final stage of alcoholism, drinking has consumed their lives.

Life expectancy was 24–28 years shorter in people with alcohol use disorder than in the general population. People with alcohol use disorder had higher mortality from all causes of death (mortality rate ratio, 3.0–5.2), all diseases and medical conditions (2.3–4.8), and suicide (9.3–35.9). Alcoholism is a complex and chronic disease that significantly impacts the long-term health outcomes and life expectancy of affected individuals. Understanding the impact of alcoholism on overall health and mortality rates is essential for addressing this issue effectively.

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