Medical comorbidity and alcohol dependence.
Alcohol dependence (AD) and, more generally, alcohol use disorders (AUDs) predispose individuals to adverse consequences that extend beyond the expected damage from alcohol-direct toxicity. Research has shown that the relationship of alcohol use to health outcomes is complex, as is the etiology of AD, and that the individual and social costs of alcohol-related problems are increasing. We review advances in alcohol science that explore the role of alcohol consumption and patterns of drinking in a range of medically comorbid conditions. Although new knowledge can assist in the development of appropriate medical management strategies, AUDs account for an important percentage of the global burden of disease and require approaches that are not uniquely focused on the identification and treatment of AD.
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