The Impact of Partner Alcohol Problems on Women's Physical and Mental Health

Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, NIAAA/LEB Room 3071, 5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9304, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 02/2007; 68(1):66-75. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2007.68.66
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine the association between partner alcohol problems and selected physical and mental health outcomes among married or cohabiting women, before and after adjusting for potential confounders, and to compare these associations with those reflecting the impact of the women's own alcohol-use disorders (AUDs).
This analysis is based on data from the Wave 1 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a cross-sectional, retrospective survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 18 years of age and older. The analytic sample consisted of 11,683 married or cohabiting women. Classification of their own AUDs was based on self-report of symptoms operationalizing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Current partner alcohol problems were identified by the women after an explanation that recapitulated the essence of these criteria. Physical health measures included criminal victimization of any type, injury, emergency-department and hospital visits, self-reported fair or poor health, and Short Form-12 Health Survey Questionnaire, Version 2 (SF-12v2), -based physical quality of life. Mental health measures included DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders, number of past-year stressors, and SF-12v2-based mental/psychological quality of life. All measures refer to the 12 months immediately preceding the interview. Associations were tested using bivariate and multivariate logistic and linear regression models.
At the bivariate level, women whose partners had alcohol problems were more likely to experience victimization, injury, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and being in fair or poor health than women whose partners did not have alcohol problems (odds ratio [OR]: 1.7-4.5). They also experienced more life stressors and had lower mental/psychological quality-of-life scores. All but one of these differences remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders, which included the significantly greater rates of substance use and AUDs among women whose partners had alcohol problems. Although the magnitudes of the ORs decreased after adjustment (adjusted OR [AOR]: 2.1-3.4), they generally exceeded the AORs associated with the women's own AUDs.
Partner alcohol problems pose diverse health threats for women that go beyond their well-documented association with domestic violence. Mood, anxiety, stress, general health, and quality-of-life problems should be addressed by groups that provide couples' treatment or counseling to female partners of alcoholics.

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    • "Covariates Age, educational status, lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise), job support (supervisor and co-worker support), work family interference (WFI), physical and mental health were included as potential confounders. These factors have been reported to be associated with either overweight or obesity, and WF, or reported as confounders in previous studies without being on the causal pathway except physical and mental health status (Neovius et al., 2012, 2009; Dawson et al., 2007; Neovius et al., 2008). Age was dichotomized as <45 years and !45 years. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Obesity is associated with productivity loss, but little is known about how obese workers function at work and also the role of working-time arrangements on this association is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association of overweight and obesity with work functioning (WF), and to determine whether the associations differ between workers with different working-time arrangements. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted within the sampling frame of the ‘Shift Your Work’ study that examined the effect of irregular working-times in relation to health and functioning at work. We included N = 622 Dutch employees, of which N = 384 (62%) were shift-workers, N = 171 (27%) on-call workers and N = 67 (11%) day-workers. Overweight and obesity were defined as BMI 25–30 and ≥30, respectively. WF was assessed using the Work-Role Functioning Questionnaire. Results The prevalences of overweight and obesity were 48% and 10% in all workers, 49% and 11% in shift-workers, 45% and 10% in on-call workers, and 49% and 6% in day workers, respectively. In all workers, obesity was associated with lower WF scores for physical demands (adjusted estimate, aB = −5.5). In shift-workers, obesity was associated with lower WF scores for output and physical demands (aB = −8.8 and −6.8, respectively). In day and on-call workers, overweight and obesity were not associated with WF. Conclusions Overweight and obesity are highly prevalent in the working population. Obesity might reduce the executive function performance beyond physical limitations, and limit the ability to accomplish tasks successfully, especially in shift workers.
    Applied Ergonomics 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2015.07.016 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "For instance, an anticipated or unexpected death might influence health outcomes differently [50], and the degree of care-giving in the case of an anticipated bereavement [51] might also play a role. The nature and saliency of the relationship between the bereaved and deceased could have a variable influence on alcohol intake [49], [52], as could a change in social network norms [53]. We found no significant results with respect to heavy alcohol use for women receiving an employment promotion in our main analyses but significant ones for men, which is in line with other like studies [54]; however, the directionality for men was opposite. "
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    ABSTRACT: Major life changes may play a causative role in health through lifestyle factors, such as alcohol. The objective was to examine the impact of stressful life events on heavy alcohol consumption among French adults. Trajectories of excessive alcohol consumption in 20,625 employees of the French national gas and electricity company for up to 5 years before and 5 years after an event, with annual measurements from 1992. We used repeated measures analysis of time series data indexed to events, employing generalized estimating equations. For women, excessive alcohol use increased before important purchase (p = 0.021), children leaving home (p<0.001), and death of loved ones (p = 0.03), and decreased before widowhood (p = 0.015); in the year straddling the event, increased consumption was observed for important purchase (p = 0.018) and retirement (p = 0.002); at the time of the event, consumption decreased for marriage (p = 0.002), divorce, widowhood, and death of loved one (all p<0.001), and increased for retirement (p = 0.035). For men, heavy alcohol consumption increased in the years up to and surrounding the death of loved ones, retirement, and important purchase (all p<0.001), and decreased after (all p<0.001, except death of loved one: p = 0.006); at the time of the event, consumption decreased for all events except for children leaving home and retirement, where we observed an increase (all p<0.001). For women and men, heavy alcohol consumption decreased prior to marriage and divorce and increased after (all p<0.001, except for women and marriage: p = 0.01). Stressful life events promote healthy and unhealthy alcohol consumption. Certain events impact alcohol intake temporarily while others have longer-term implications. Research should disentangle women's and men's distinct perceptions of events over time.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87653. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087653 · 3.23 Impact Factor
    • "Though significant levels of psychological distress seem to be apparent from such factors, surprisingly, very few studies have specifically explored this, either in Western or Indian research. Those studies, which have looked into these factors have found high rates of psychiatric morbidity,[202122] especially mood and anxiety disorders in the spouses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence has adverse health and social consequences; Alcohol related problems primarily occur within the family context and maximum impact is felt on spouses, given the intimate nature of their relationship. Spouses play an important role in treatment programs related to alcohol. There is thus a need to study psychiatric morbidity and marital satisfaction in spouses of alcohol dependent patients in order to understand and address such issues. The aim of this study was to assess the pattern of psychiatric morbidity, marital satisfaction in spouses of men with alcohol dependence syndrome and explore the association. For psychiatric morbidity, 60 spouses of men with alcohol dependence syndrome were evaluated. Marital satisfaction was assessed using the marital satisfaction scale. Severity of alcohol dependence in the husbands and consequences of drinking was assessed using short alcohol dependence data and drinkers inventory of consequences respectively. More than half of the spouses (65%) had a psychiatric disorder. Primarily mood and anxiety disorder were present. Major depressive disorder was present in 43%. Psychiatric morbidity, marital dissatisfaction in spouses and higher adverse consequences alcohol dependence in their husbands, were found to be significantly correlated with each other and their association was robust particularly when problems in the physical, interpersonal and intrapersonal domains were high. Psychological distress and psychiatric morbidity in spouses of alcohol dependent men is high, with marital satisfaction being low. Addressing these issues will be beneficial as spouses are known to play an important role in the treatment of alcohol dependence syndrome.
    Indian Journal of Psychiatry 10/2013; 55(4):360-5. DOI:10.4103/0019-5545.120557
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