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|Title:||PREVALENCE OF ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME IN PORT HARCOURT, NIGER-DELTA REGION OF NIGERIA JANUARY 1999-DECEMBER 2003|
|Abstract:||Background: This was a hospital-based study on the prevalence of alcohol withdrawal syndrome amongst patients admitted in the medical, surgical and psychiatric wards of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; between January 1999 and December 2003. The hospital was one of the specialized centers in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. The patients were admitted not necessarily for alcohol related symptoms. Methods: Alcohol abusers were identified through the use of a 4-item questionnaire CAGE; and the patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome were identified based on the DSMIV Criteria. Results: Amongst the 2,405 patients admitted in the study period of ages 16-54 years, 403 (17%) met the criteria for alcohol abuse, out of which 31 (1%) had alcohol withdrawal syndrome. They were 25 males (81%) and 6 females (19%). For those who had alcohol withdrawal syndrome, the mean duration of alcohol intake was 22 years. The mean quantity of alcohol taken was 49 units per week. Sixteen percent of the patients with withdrawal symptoms manifested within 24 hours of admission, and another 23% up to 48 hours. Ten percent developed withdrawal seizures. In conclusion, high prevalence of alcohol abuse and alcohol withdrawal syndrome was seen among patients admitted to the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The patients were typically from polygamous family, single, had no formal education or dropped out from school, many with occupational difficulties and forensic history.|
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