From the August 1967 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

'Skid Row' Syndrome

During jail terms, 227 chronic drunks from Toronto's skid row were given physical examinations, liver function tests, urinalyses, routine hematology, chest radiographs, and their previous hospital records were analyzed. Results of these examinations were tabulated by IBM computers and organized in terms of body systems. Items occurring in sufficient frequency were separated out to compile a "skid row" syndrome.

The average of the men was 45; they had been drinking heavily for 20 years, averaging 4 convictions for drunkenness a year. Tuberculosis had occurred in 8.8%. Epilepsy was found in 8%. Cirrhosis of the liver was definite in 3%, although 20% had liver abnormalities. While 75% were under the Canadian average weight, 33% were 30 pounds or more below that norm. Significant body deformities were found in 25%. Chest radiographs were abnormal in 66%.

-- Medical Digest

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