Data from the public health insurance societies regarding 66 female alcoholics, hospitalized for the first time for alcoholism at the Department of Alcohol Diseases, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, were studied, and the developmental pattern of morbidity was compared with that of 68 male alcoholics fulfilling the same criteria. The observation period was 15 years. The progress of the alcoholism was not reflected in data from the social insurance societies up to the time of the first clinical treatment. However, the morbidity increased in both sexes after the treatment period, with higher disability, severity, and frequency rates, a large number of persons with disability pensions and increasing social stigmatization. The proportion of women granted disability pensions increased to significantly higher values than that of men, and that of women in the general population. The women had significantly fewer registrations in social registers than the men during the whole period. Women and older patients had higher disability rates, more sick-days due to "mental diseases" and a higher severity rate before admission. All differences were equalized in the last part of the study.