The physical-disease characteristics of 125 skid row and 736 non-skid row male alcoholics were compared in detail to determine whether skid row alcoholism is characterized by a distinct medical, as well as a social, profile. Trauma, tuberculosis, venereal disease, and malnutrition were more common in the skid row alcoholics. Epilepsy, peripheral neuritis, acute brain syndromes, chronic brain disease, and lifetime recordings of all nervous system illnesses also occurred more frequently in the skid row group, as did gastritis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, ulcer surgery, and postgastrectomy syndrome. Fatty liver, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and cardiovascular illnesses of all kinds, however, were less common. The skid row medical profile is, in part, the product of a unique sociologic environment. Thus, skid row alcoholism may be viewed as a distinct sociomedical entity.
(Arch Intern Med 136:272-278, 1976)
Ashley MJ, Olin JS, Riche WHL, Kornaczewski A, Schmidt W, Rankin JG. Skid Row Alcoholism: A Distinct Sociomedical Entity. Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(3):272–278. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630030010003
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: