Alcoholics underestimate the risk of bleeding

February 18, 2008

Gastrointestinal bleeding can be fatal - something which is not known to many alcoholics. This was the conclusion reached by the Leipzig gastroenterologist Niels Teich and his colleagues, on the basis of a survey in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105[5]: 73-7).

More than 400 patients from the major German cities of Leipzig and Munich were included in the study. Average alcohol consumption was 660 g ethanol per week.

The study shows that alcoholics often do not know enough about the possible symptoms of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. After vomiting blood, 71% of those asked would contact an emergency physician.

The corresponding figure for a "black fluid" is only 51%. Only 32% would call emergency medical aid if they were to pass black stools, and only 25% would seek medical help for all three symptoms. Alcoholics who rarely see a doctor are particularly ignorant about how urgent treatment is. Women and patients who had seen a doctor more than 12 times in the course of the preceding year were best informed.

Further non-significant differences were found in respect of patient age. Younger alcoholics were more likely to call a doctor than older patients. In addition, earlier consultation of an emergency physician was associated with lower alcohol consumption, completed vocational training, and being married. The longer the patient delays till the emergency endoscopy, the worse is the prognosis.

Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt

Explore further: Wearables could catch heart problems that elude your doctor

Related Stories

Wearables could catch heart problems that elude your doctor

February 16, 2018
For years, Kathi Sigona felt like she had "a chest full of writhing worms in a bag."

Marijuana's 4/20 holiday tied to rise in fatal car crashes

February 12, 2018
Marijuana users' self-proclaimed holiday is linked with a slight increase in fatal U.S. car crashes, an analysis of 25 years of data found.

Study of smoking and genetics illuminates complexities of blood pressure

February 15, 2018
Analyzing the genetics and smoking habits of more than half a million people has shed new light on the complexities of controlling blood pressure, according to a study led by researchers at Washington University School of ...

New technique for identifying alcoholism puts treatment options at patients' and providers' fingertips

February 6, 2018
Ninety percent of adults in the U.S. with an Alcohol Use Disorder don't get treatment, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. To help make treatment ...

'IV lounges' are the latest health fad, but are they safe?

January 31, 2018
(HealthDay)—"Rent-a-drip" IV lounges are popping up across the country, promising speedy recovery for hangover sufferers, jet lag victims and others seeking an intravenous solution to modern dilemmas.

As cancer survival rate grows, so does number of new cases

February 2, 2018
Even as cancer treatment improves and survival rates go up, so too does the number of people afflicted with the deadly disease, experts said ahead of World Cancer Day.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.