Alcohol abuse and suicide: a 40-year prospective study of Norwegian conscripts


Ingeborg Rossow, National Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, Dannevigsveien 10, N-0463 Oslo, Norway.


Suicide mortality among alcohol abusers and the prevalence of alcohol abusers among suicides were assessed in a 40-year follow-up study of 40 000 Norwegian military conscripts. Alcohol abuse was operationalized as either admission to alcohol treatment clinic, alcohol related cause of death, or both. The relative risk of suicide among alcohol abusers was estimated to 6.9. The relative risk of committing suicide among alcohol abusers appeared to be higher in middle age (more than 40 years) than in younger age groups (RR = 12.8 and 4.5, respectively). The life-time risk of suicide, i.e. before the age of 60 years, was estimated to 0.63% for those not categorized as alcohol abusers and 4.76% for those categorized as alcohol abusers.