Alcohol abuse: critical pathophysiological processes and contribution to disease burden

Physiology (Bethesda). 2014 May;29(3):203-15. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00055.2013.


Alcohol abuse; the most common and costly form of drug abuse, is a major contributing factor to many disease categories. The alcohol-attributable disease burden is closely related to the average volume of alcohol consumption, with dose-dependent relationships between amount and duration of alcohol consumption and the incidence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pneumonia. The frequent occurrence of alcohol use disorders in the adult population and the significant and widespread detrimental organ system effects highlight the importance of recognizing and further investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced tissue and organ injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / pathology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / etiology*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / pathology*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans