Alcohol dependency and affective illness among women of childbearing age

K. S. Peindl*, K. L. Wisner, B. H. Hanusa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objectives of the study were to identify variables that predicted duration of an episode of alcoholism among women and to examine risk factors for women having comorbid alcoholism with affective illness when compared to women who had an affective disorder only. We selected a cohort of women of childbearing age (n = 231) from computerized medical records. The women were contacted five years after their initial emergency visit and asked to participate in a follow-up study. Each RDC episode of illness and its duration were plotted on a longitudinal time-line graph. The only multivariate predictor of duration of an episode of alcoholism was comorbidity with a mood disorder. We compared women who had alcoholism comorbid with affective illness to women with affective illness only. Women with both disorders were 36 times more likely to have a history of illness with their first psychiatric episode before the age of 15 compared to women with an affective disorder only. The findings suggest a dual liability for alcoholism and an affective illness among women with young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Affective disorder
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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