Recovering from alcoholism is similar to recovering from cancer: People need to be symptom-free for five years to be out of danger of relapse, a study released in Chicago found. The study tracked the lives of 724 alcohol abusers for 50 years, researchers said. A surprising finding was that poor, inner-city alcoholics recovered at a higher rate than richer or more-educated alcoholics, presumably because the drinkers who were poor "hit bottom" faster. Of the men who achieved sobriety, 40% did so through Alcoholics Anonymous. The study was published in the March issue of the American Medical Assn.'s Archives of General Psychiatry.