BACKGROUND: Most available pharmacotherapies for alcohol-dependent patients target abstinence; however, reduced alcohol consumption may be a more realistic goal. Using randomized clinical trial (RCT) data, a previous microsimulation model evaluated the clinical relevance of reduced consumption in terms of avoided alcohol-attributable events. Using real-life observational data, the current analysis aimed to adapt the model and confirm previous findings about the clinical relevance of reduced alcohol consumption. METHODS: Based on the prospective observational CONTROL study, evaluating daily alcohol consumption among alcohol-dependent patients, the model predicted the probability of drinking any alcohol during a given day. Predicted daily alcohol consumption was simulated in a hypothetical sample of 200,000 patients observed over a year. Individual total alcohol consumption (TAC) and number of heavy drinking days (HDD) were derived. Using published risk equations, probabilities of alcohol-attributable adverse health events (e.g., hospitalizations or death) corresponding to simulated consumptions were computed, and aggregated for categories of patients defined by HDDs and TAC (expressed per 100,000 patient-years). Sensitivity analyses tested model robustness. RESULTS: Shifting from >220 HDDs per year to 120-140 HDDs and shifting from 36,000-39,000 g TAC per year (120-130 g/day) to 15,000-18,000 g TAC per year (50-60 g/day) impacted substantially on the incidence of events (14,588 and 6148 events avoided per 100,000 patient-years, respectively). Results were robust to sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: This study corroborates the previous microsimulation modeling approach and, using real-life data, confirms RCT-based findings that reduced alcohol consumption is a relevant objective for consideration in alcohol dependence management to improve public health.