This work was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant 1P50AA07378.
Severity and Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal in Elderly Versus Younger Patients
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 196–201, February 1994
How to Cite
Brower, K. J., Mudd, S., Blow, F. C., Young, J. P. and Hill, E. M. (1994), Severity and Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal in Elderly Versus Younger Patients. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 18: 196–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1994.tb00903.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication October 6, 1992; accepted July 28, 1993
- Withdrawal Syndrome;
- Drug Therapy;
- Residential Treatment
We conducted a retrospective chart review of older (n= 48; mean age = 69) and younger (n= 36; mean age = 30) patients who were admitted to residential/inpatient treatment for alcohol withdrawal and dependence. Although the two age groups did not differ in terms of recent drinking history, the elderly group had significantly more withdrawal symptoms for a longer duration than the younger group. The elderly group also had more symptoms of cognitive impairment, daytime sleepiness, weakness, and high blood pressure. Finally, no significant differences were found between age groups in either the dosage or number of days of detoxification medication, although a trend was found for more days of medication in the elderly. We conclude that alcohol withdrawal may be more severe in elderly than in younger persons. Accordingly, treatment may take longer and should target the specific profile of symptoms that characterize alcohol withdrawal in the elderly.