Secondary school students' rates of substance use vary significantly by race/ethnicity and by their parents' level of education (a proxy for socioeconomic status). The relationship between students' substance use and race/ethnicity is, however, potentially confounded because parental education also differs substantially by race/ethnicity. This report disentangles the confounding by examining White, African American, and Hispanic students separately, showing how parental education relates to cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, and illicit drug use.
Data are from the 1999-2008 Monitoring the Future nationally representative in-school surveys of more than 360,000 students in Grades 8, 10, and 12.
(a) High proportions of Hispanic students have parents with the lowest level of education, and the relatively low levels of substance use by these students complicates total sample data linking parental education and substance use. (b) There are clear interactions: Compared with White students, substance use rates among African American and Hispanic students are less strongly linked with parental education (and are lower overall). (c) Among White students, 8th and 10th graders show strong negative relations between parental education and substance use, whereas by 12th grade their heavy drinking and marijuana use are not correlated with parental education.
Low parental education appears to be much more of a risk factor for White students than for Hispanic or African American students. Therefore, in studies of substance use epidemiology, findings based on predominantly White samples are not equally applicable to other racial/ethnic subgroups. Conversely, the large proportions of minority students in the lowest parental education category can mask or weaken findings that are clearer among White students alone.
Smoking cannabis before adulthood is associated with subsequent adverse psychiatric outcomes and might be prevented via parenting interventions such as programs to increase parents' effective monitoring of their children. The aim of this study was to estimate the influence of parental monitoring assessed at age 11 on the initiation of cannabis use before age 18.
Data are from a longitudinal study of 823 children randomly selected from 1983 to 1985 newborn discharge lists from two major hospitals in southeast Michigan. Parental monitoring was assessed at age 11 via a standardized 10-item scale, and the parental monitoring-cannabis initiation relationship was estimated for the 638 children with complete data. Poisson regression with robust error variances was used to estimate the association that links levels of parental monitoring at age 11 with the risk of cannabis use up to age 17, adjusting for other important covariates.
Higher levels of parental monitoring at age 11 were associated with a reduced risk of cannabis initiation from ages 11 to 17 (adjusted estimated relative risk = 0.96; 95% CI [0.93, 0.98]).
This prospective investigation found that higher levels of parental monitoring were associated with a reduced occurrence of cannabis initiation from ages 11 to 17 years. Consistent with evidence reported elsewhere, these findings from prospective research lend further support to theories about parenting and familial characteristics that might exert long-lasting influences on a child's risk of starting to use drugs.
The measurement of alcohol consumption is an essential component of research in patients at risk for or infected with HIV. Daily estimation measures such as the Timeline Followback (TLFB) have been validated, yet the optimal time window and its performance in non-treatment-seeking medical clinic subjects and among those with HIV are not known.
In 1,519 HIV-infected and 1,612 uninfected men receiving medical care in general medical or infectious disease clinics, we compared the association between 7-, 14-, and 30-day TLFB reports, obtained via telephone, of alcohol consumption using Spearman's correlation coefficients. To evaluate agreement between 7-, 14-, and 30-day reports of heavy episodic drinking, we evaluated percent agreement, sensitivity, and kappa statistics, considering 30-day report as the gold standard.
The estimated prevalence of heavy episodic drinking was progressively higher for longer TLFB intervals (7 days: 6.3%; 14 days: 8.0%; 30 days: 9.5%). Correlation coefficients with 30- day TLFB were higher for 14 days (.94) than for 7 days (.86) overall (p < .001) and among HIV-infected (.94 vs. .86, p < .001) and uninfected (.95 vs. .87, p < 001). Correlations were similar by HIV status. When considered overall and by HIV status, the sensitivity, percent agreement, and kappa statistics are better for heavy episodic drinking based on 14 days compared with 7 days.
A TLFB for alcohol consumption of 14 days is preferable to 7 days for non-treatment-seeking patients in medical clinics with and without HIV infection when compared with 30 days.
A 14-year multiwave panel design was used to examine relationships between longitudinal alcohol-consumption patterns, especially persistent moderate use, and change in health-related quality of life among middle-aged and older adults.
A nationally representative sample of 5,404 community-dwelling Canadians ages 50 and older at baseline (1994/1995) was obtained from the longitudinal National Population Health Survey. Alcohol-consumption patterns were developed based on the quantity and frequency of use in the 12 months before the interview. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). Latent growth curve modeling was used to estimate the change in HUI3 for each alcohol pattern after adjusting for covariates measured at baseline.
Most participants showed stable alcohol-consumption patterns over 6 years. Persistent non-users, persistent former users, those decreasing their consumption levels, and those with unstable patterns (i.e., U shaped and inverted U shaped) had lower HUI3 scores at baseline compared with persistent moderate drinkers. A more rapid decline in HUI3 scores than that observed for persistent moderate users was seen only in those with decreasing consumption (p < .001). In a subgroup identified as consistently healthy before follow-up, longitudinal drinking patterns were associated with initial HUI3 scores but not rates of change.
Persistent moderate drinkers had higher initial levels of health-related quality of life than persistent nonusers, persistent former users, decreasing users, U-shaped users, and inverted U-shaped users. However, rates of decline over time were similar for all groups except those decreasing their consumption, who had a greater decline in their level of health-related quality of life than persistent moderate users.
Self-reports of alcohol consumption among patients visiting an emergency department (ED) have been used extensively in the investigation of the relationship between drinking and injury. Little is known, however, about the associations between validity of self-reports with patient and injury characteristics and whether these relationships vary across regions or countries. Both of these issues are explored in this article.
In the construct of a multilevel logistical model, validity of self-reports was estimated as the probability of a positive self-report given a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The setting included 44 EDs across 28 studies in 16 countries. Participants included 10,741 injury patients from the combined Emergency Room Collaborative Alcohol Analysis Project (ERCAAP) and the World Health Organization Collaborative Study of Alcohol and Injuries. Data were analyzed on self-reported drinking within 6 hours before injury compared with BAC results obtained from breath-analyzer readings in all but two studies, which used urine screens. Covariates included demographic, drinking, and injury characteristics and aggregate-level contextual variables.
At the individual level, a higher BAC measurement was associated with a higher probability of reporting drinking, as was heavy drinking and sustaining injuries in traffic accidents or violence-related events. At the study level, neither aggregate BAC nor other sociocultural variables affected the validity of self-reported drinking.
This study provides further evidence of the validity of self-reported drinking measures in crossnational ED studies based on the objective criterion of BAC estimates.
The link between impulsive personality traits and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is well established. No studies, however, have investigated whether receipt of help for AUDs predicts change in impulsivity or whether such change is associated with relevant outcomes such as legal problems. The present study examined predictive associations between the duration of help for AUDs (Alcoholics Anonymous [AA], professional treatment) and impulsivity and legal problems over 16 years in men and women with AUDs.
Participants who were initially untreated for their AUDs (n(men) = 332, n(women) = 296) completed follow-up telephone interviews at 1 and 16 years after their baseline assessment.
Impulsivity and legal problems declined between baseline and the 1-year and 16-year follow-ups among both women and men. A longer duration of participation in AA predicted a decline in impulsivity at both follow-up assessments, and, in turn, a decline in impulsivity predicted a decline in legal problems at Years 1 and 16. In addition, a longer duration of participation in AA predicted fewer legal problems at Year 1, and this association was moderated by gender (significant in men) and impulsivity (significant for individuals with higher baseline scores).
The results highlight the potential for AA and professional treatment to reduce the expression of impulsivity and related disinhibitory traits and legal problems in individuals with AUDs.
Changes in romantic relationship status are common in emerging adulthood and may be linked to changes in substance use. This study tested the hypothesis that entry into relationships or transitioning to a more committed status leads to decreases in substance use and that dissolution of relationships or transitioning to a less committed status results in increases in substance use.
Data were from a community sample of 939 individuals. Substance use (heavy drinking, marijuana use, and cigarette smoking) and relationship status (single, in a romantic relationship but not cohabiting, cohabiting, or married) were assessed at the beginning and end of three 6-month intervals between the ages of 18 and 20 years. Models were estimated to assess the association between transitions in relationship status and substance use, adjusting for prior levels of use.
There were increases in heavy drinking, marijuana use, and cigarette smoking associated with dissolution of a romantic relationship, as well as increases in marijuana use and cigarette smoking associated with switching partners within a 6-month interval. Mediation analyses found some support for increases in both depressive symptoms and exposure to substance-using peers partially accounting for these associations. Decreases in substance use were not found for individuals entering into a new relationship or transitioning to a more committed relationship status. In fact, cigarette smoking increased among those who went from being single to being in a romantic relationship compared with those whose relationship status did not change.
Emerging adults who experience dissolution of romantic relationships or quickly move from one relationship to another experience increased substance use. Both depressive symptoms and changes in peer environments may partially account for these changes in use.
Recent reports indicate an increase in rates of hospitalizations for drug overdoses in the United States. The role of alcohol in hospitalizations for drug overdoses remains unclear. Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs is prevalent in young adults ages 18-24. The present study explores rates and costs of inpatient hospital stays for alcohol overdoses, drug overdoses, and their co-occurrence in young adults ages 18-24 and changes in these rates between 1999 and 2008.
Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample were used to estimate numbers, rates, and costs of inpatient hospital stays stemming from alcohol overdoses (and their subcategories, alcohol poisonings and excessive consumption of alcohol), drug overdoses (and their subcategories, drug poisonings and nondependent abuse of drugs), and their co-occurrence in 18- to 24-year-olds.
Hospitalization rates for alcohol overdoses alone increased 25% from 1999 to 2008, reaching 29,412 cases in 2008 at a cost of $266 million. Hospitalization rates for drug overdoses alone increased 55%, totaling 113,907 cases in 2008 at a cost of $737 million. Hospitalization rates for combined alcohol and drug overdoses increased 76%, with 29,202 cases in 2008 at a cost of $198 million.
Rates of hospitalizations for alcohol overdoses, drug overdoses, and their combination all increased from 1999 to 2008 among 18- to 24-year-olds. The cost of such hospitalizations now exceeds $1.2 billion annually. The steepest increase occurred among cases of combined alcohol and drug overdoses. Stronger efforts are needed to educate medical practitioners and the public about the risk of overdoses, particularly when alcohol is combined with other drugs.
Previous research suggests that a strong relation exists between alcohol consumption and suicide in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. This study extends this analysis across a much longer historical time frame by examining the relationship between heavy drinking and suicide in tsarist and post-World War II Russia.
Using alcohol poisoning mortality data as a proxy for heavy drinking, time-series analytical modeling techniques were used to examine the strength of the alcohol-suicide relation in the provinces of European Russia in the period 1870-1894 and for Russia in 1956-2005.
During 1870-1894, a decreasing trend was recorded in heavy drinking in Russia that contrasted with the sharp increase observed in this phenomenon in the post-World War II period. A rising trend in suicide was recorded in both study periods, although the increase was much greater in the latter period. The strength of the heavy drinking-suicide relation nevertheless remained unchanged across time, with a 10% increase in heavy drinking resulting in a 3.5% increase in suicide in tsarist Russia and a 3.8% increase in post-World War II Russia.
Despite the innumerable societal changes that have occurred in Russia across the two study periods and the growth in the level of heavy drinking, the strength of the heavy drinking-suicide relation has remained unchanged across time. This suggests the continuation of a highly detrimental drinking culture where the heavy episodic drinking of distilled spirits (vodka) is an essential element in the alcohol-suicide association.
The Lundby Study is a prospective longitudinal study of an unselected population consisting of 3,563 subjects. The Lundby Study started in 1947, and follow-ups were carried out in 1957, 1972, and in 1997.
In all four surveys, semistructured interviews were performed by psychiatrists. Registers, key informants, and case notes from hospitals and outpatient clinics supplemented the interview data. Best-estimate consensus diagnoses of mental disorders were applied after gathering all available data. In the present study, age- and sex-specific incidences of any alcoholism (alcohol problems and alcohol dependence) were studied for the entire 50-year period. Alcohol dependence was studied for the periods 1947-1972 and 1972-1997. Incidences and cumulative probabilities by age were calculated and compared. Age-standardized incidence rates were also calculated for five 10-year periods for subjects 40 years of age and older.
Incidence rates of alcohol-use disorders show large differences across the life span. The cumulative probability for any alcoholism over the 50-year period was 24.4% for men and 4.0% for women. The incidence of any alcoholism was similar for men in both periods, whereas for women it increased in the period 1972-1997; however, this increase was not significantly on the 5% level.
At least one in four men was found to be at risk of developing alcohol problems or becoming dependent on alcohol during his lifetime in the present study, which is in accordance with other studies. The gender differences in alcohol-use disorders in Sweden may have decreased in later decades.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have the nation's highest morbidity and mortality owing to alcohol but also have opportunities to employ policies that could reduce the harmful effects of drinking. As sovereign nations, federally recognized tribes can adopt policies that are highly likely to have a beneficial impact on alcohol problems. The most recently published nationwide research on American Indian alcohol policies (conducted some 30 years ago) suggested that tribal policies may help minimize adverse consequences related to drinking. However, much has changed in Indian country during the last few decades, including redefinitions of relationships among tribes, states, and the federal government; recognition of tribes not previously acknowledged by federal authorities; and the advent of gaming and casinos. These developments raise numerous questions regarding the adoption and implementation of policies pertaining to alcohol.
This project used the Federal Register to catalog alcohol statutes adopted by the 334 federally recognized tribes in the lower 48 states between 1975 and 2006. Tribes that do not have an alcohol policy have, by default, retained federal prohibition.
During the 30-year study period, the percentage of tribes with statutes that permit alcohol increased from 29.2% to 63.5%. Later policies showed increases in complexity, such as tribal licensing requirements and facility restrictions to accompany increases in gaming and tourism.
These data are highly relevant to Native decision makers as they attempt to develop and implement policies that will minimize the harmful effects of alcohol among indigenous peoples.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the preferred drinking contexts of different gender and ethnic groups (white, black, and Hispanic men and women), by examining where these groups do most of their drinking and to what extent drinking contexts preferences are associated with certain drinking-related consequences.
The study used data from the 1984, 1995, and 2005 U.S. National Alcohol Surveys. Among current drinkers, cluster analyses of volume drunk in six contexts (restaurants, bars, others' parties, or when spending a quiet evening at home, having friends drop over at home, and hanging out in public places) were used to classify individuals by their drinking context preferences in each gender by ethnicity subgroup.
We identified three highly similar drinking context-preference clusters within each of the six subgroups: (1) bar-plus group (did most drinking in bars, plus much in other venues), (2) home group (did most drinking at home, and a fair amount elsewhere), and (3) light group (drank almost nothing quietly at home and also less in other settings than the other two clusters). For a number of ethnic-by-gender groups, context preference group assignment predicted drinking-related problems, over and above general drinking patterns. For example, for all groups, the bar-plus preference group relative to the light group showed higher risk of arguments, fighting, and drunk driving, after taking into account the volume consumed, frequency of heavy drinking, age, and year of survey.
Examining individuals' preferred drinking contexts may provide important information to augment overall drinking patterns in risk and prevention studies.
The purpose of this study was to update trends in alcohol- and drug-related emergency department and primary care visits over the last 15 years in the United States.
A trend analysis was conducted on substance-related health services visits, based on self-reported alcohol or other drug use within 6 hours before an injury and/or illness event, from four National Alcohol Surveys: 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010.
A significant upward trend was found from 1995 to 2010 in alcohol-related emergency department visits but not in alcohol-related primary care visits. The odds of an alcohol-related emergency department visit doubled between 1995 and 2010 (odds ratio = 2.36). No significant trend was found in either drug-related emergency department or drug-related primary care visits between 1995 and 2010.
These data suggest that alcohol-related emergency department visits have increased significantly over the past 15 years, whereas drug-related emergency department visits may have stabilized. These findings underscore the opportunity provided by the emergency department for screening and brief intervention for alcohol-related problems and suggest that Healthy People 2010 objectives calling for a reduction in substance-related emergency department visits were not realized. Thus, it might be prudent to adjust Healthy People 2020 objectives accordingly.
This study examined the frequency and temporal trends of alcohol use among women with and without myocardial infarction (MI) in the United States.
We pooled yearly surveys from the nationally representative Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between 1997 and 2008. Subjects for this study were 1,186,951 women, of whom 50,055 had a previous MI. Yearly weighted prevalence rates and frequencies of drinking behaviors were calculated for alcohol use in women with and without previous MI.
Fewer post-MI women consumed alcohol than other women (24% vs. 46%), but the prevalence of drinking increased over time in both groups. Nearly one third of post-MI women and half of all women consumed more than one drink per day. Heavy episodic drinking (four or more drinks per day) increased over time in both groups. After multivariable adjustment, post-MI women were less likely to report any drinking or consuming more than one drink per day, but the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking and the increasing trends over time were similar in both groups.
Heavy alcohol use and heavy episodic drinking among women in the United States increased over the past decade, regardless of MI history. Although this may have reflected the influence of national guidelines on alcohol consumption, the increase in heavy episodic drinking suggests that better efforts to educate clinicians and women about the harms from excessive alcohol are required.
The incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma has been rising in the United States during the last 2 decades. Heavy alcohol use has been widely recognized as one of the major etiological factors of hepatocellular carcinoma. This study sought to assess the extent to which heavy alcohol use contributed to premature death from hepatocellular carcinoma on a population scale in the United States.
We analyzed the Multiple Cause of Death public-use data sets. Using codes from the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, hepatocellular carcinoma death was defined based on the underlying cause of death, and heavy alcohol use was indicated by the presence of any alcohol-induced medical conditions among the contributing causes of death. During 1999-2006 in the United States, 51,400 hepatocellular carcinoma deaths were identified from 17,727,245 natural deaths of persons age 25 or older. We conducted Poisson regression, life table, and multiple linear regression analyses to compare prevalence ratios, cumulative probabilities, and mean ages of death, respectively, from hepatocellular carcinoma by heavy alcohol use status across sex and race/ethnicity.
Heavy alcohol use decedents had higher prevalence ratios of dying from hepatocellular carcinoma than from non-chronic liver diseases compared with those decedents without heavy alcohol use. Heavy alcohol use was associated with decreased mean ages and increased cumulative probabilities of death among hepatocellular carcinoma decedents across racial/ethnic groups in both sexes. This association was stronger among women than men and stronger among non-Hispanic Whites than non-Hispanic Blacks.
This study provides mortality-based empirical evidence to further establish heavy alcohol consumption as one of the key risk factors contributing to premature deaths from hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States, and its effect appears more prominent among women and non-Hispanic Whites.
The aim of this study was to report trends from 2001 to 2006 in the percentage of all high school seniors who drive after using marijuana, other illicit drugs, or alcohol or who are exposed as passengers to such behaviors. A second objective is to examine demographic and psychosocial correlates of these behaviors.
The data were obtained from the Monitoring the Future study, in which nationally representative samples of high school seniors have been surveyed annually since 1975.
In 2006, 30% of high school seniors reported exposure to a drugged or drinking driver in the past 2 weeks, down from 35% in 2001. Exposure was demonstrated to be widespread as defined by demographic characteristics (population density, region of the country, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and family structure). Individual lifestyle factors (religiosity, grade point average, truancy, frequency of evenings out for fun, and hours of work) showed considerable association with the outcome behaviors.
Impaired driving by youth remains a problem needing serious attention despite some progress in recent years.
The aim of this study was to estimate costs attributable to substance use and misuse in Canada in 2002.
Based on information about prevalence of exposure and risk relations for more than 80 disease categories, deaths, years of life lost, and hospitalizations attributable to substance use and misuse were estimated. In addition, substance-attributable fractions for criminal justice expenditures were derived. Indirect costs were estimated using a modified human capital approach.
Costs of substance use and misuse totaled almost Can. $40 billion in 2002. The total cost per capita for substance use and misuse was about Can. $1,267: Can. $463 for alcohol, Can. $262 for illegal drugs, and Can. $541 for tobacco. Legal substances accounted for the vast majority of these costs (tobacco: almost 43% of total costs; alcohol: 37%). Indirect costs or productivity losses were the largest cost category (61%), followed by health care (22%) and law enforcement costs (14%). More than 40,000 people died in Canada in 2002 because of substance use and misuse: 37,209 deaths were attributable to tobacco, 4,258 were attributable to alcohol, and 1,695 were attributable to illegal drugs. A total of about 3.8 million hospital days were attributable to substance use and misuse, again mainly to tobacco.
Substance use and misuse imposes a considerable economic toll on Canadian society and requires more preventive efforts.
Alcohol is one of the most important risk factors for burden of disease, particularly in high-income countries such as Canada. The purpose of this article was to estimate the number of hospitalizations, hospital days, and the resulting costs attributable to alcohol for Canada in 2002.
Exposure distribution was taken from the Canadian Addiction Survey and corrected for per capita consumption from production and sales. For chronic disease, risk relations were taken from the published literature and combined with exposure to calculate age- and gender-specific alcohol-attributable fractions. For injury, alcohol-attributable fractions were taken directly from available statistics. Data on the most responsible diagnosis, length of stay for hospitalizations, and costs were obtained from the national Canadian databases.
For Canada in 2002, there were 195,970 alcohol-related diagnoses among acute care hospitalizations, 2,058 alcohol-attributable psychiatric hospitalizations, and 183,589 alcohol-attributable admissions to specialized treatment centers. These accounted for 1,246,945 hospital days in acute care facilities, 54,114 hospital days in psychiatric hospitals, and 3,018,688 hospital days in specialized treatment centers (inpatient and outpatient). The main causes of alcohol-attributable morbidity were neuropsychiatric conditions, cardiovascular disease, and unintentional injuries. In total, Can. $2.29 billion were spent on alcohol-related health care.
Alcohol poses a heavy burden of disease as well as a financial strain on Canadian society. However, there are evidence-based effective and cost-effective policy and legislative interventions as well as measures to better enforce these laws.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether persons who were injured severely enough to require hospitalization suffered more severe injury when substance use was involved. This was accomplished by evaluating four proxy outcome measures with Ohio Trauma Registry data from January 2004 through December 2007.
Four injury outcomes were identified: injury severity score, admission to an intensive care unit, presence of at least one medical complication, and hospital length of stay. We examined their association with substance (alcohol and/or other drug) use stratified by the likelihood of being tested for substance use, mechanism of injury, sex, age, race, and insurance status. Relative risks and t test scores were calculated.
Among 89,129 trauma cases reported to the Ohio Trauma Registry during 2004-2007, more than 21% were substance users. Those younger than 45 years of age were 65% more likely to use substances than those 45 or older, men were 110% more likely than women, Blacks were 86% more likely than non-Blacks, and uninsured persons were 127% more likely than insured persons. Stratified analyses yielded 16 comparisons (4 Injury Outcomes × 4 Age-Insurance Subgroups). For 13 of these 16 comparisons, injury severity was significantly worse (p < .0001) among substance users than nonusers.
The evidence is strong enough to conclude that, among hospitalized trauma patients, use of substances (alcohol and/or drug) was associated with increased injury severity. These findings appear to be true for the young and old, regardless of insurance status.
Interactive voice response (IVR), a computer-based interviewing technique in which respondents interact directly with a computerized system, can increase a sense of privacy and potentially a willingness to report putatively sensitive attitudes and behaviors more accurately. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence rates obtained by IVR with computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) for alcohol-related problems, physical and sexual abuse, and sexual orientation.
As part of the data collection effort for the 2005 National Alcohol Survey, subsamples of respondents were randomly assigned to three groups: two IVR groups, each receiving an IVR module on either alcohol-related problems (n = 562) or on physical/sexual abuse and sexual orientation (n = 563), and control groups that did not receive IVR (n = 559).
Analyses indicate no significant differences between IVR and the control groups on alcohol-related problems. A significantly higher proportion of reports of homosexual and bisexual sexual identity was found in the IVR group for respondents 40 years and older. The IVR group also reported higher rates of condom use for respondents 18-39 years old.
These findings suggest that alcohol-related problems may no longer be considered sensitive items in the general adult population. However, reports of nonheterosexual sexual orientation identity remain sensitive for older respondents. Embedding IVR within a telephone interview may provide an effective way of helping assure valid responses to sensitive item content.
Although studies of patients seen in emergency department (ED) settings have documented a strong association of alcohol with injury, such patients are not necessarily representative of the larger population, and less is known of alcohol's association with risk of injury in patient samples outside the ED.
Drinking before injury was analyzed in the 2005 National Alcohol Survey among the 1,149 respondents (18.5%, weighted) who reported an injury during the past year; analysis was by injury treatment type (ED-treated, 29.2%; other-treated, 47.8%; and nontreated, 22.9%).
Based on case-crossover analysis, the relative risk of injury from drinking was 1.85 (p < .01) for those with an ED-treated injury, 1.42 (ns) for those with an other-treated injury, and 1.43 (ns) for those with a nontreated injury. Alcohol-attributable fractions based on these relative risk estimates were 2.96% for an ED-treated injury, 1.59% for an other-treated injury, and 1.89% for a nontreated injury. Comparative attributable fractions based on the person's causal attribution of injury to his or her drinking were 3.06%, 1.61%, and 1.47%, respectively. Although these attributable fractions based on case-crossover analysis and subjective evaluation of causal attribution were not greatly different, all estimates were considerably smaller than those found in studies of ED patients.
The data suggest that alcohol plays a larger role in those injuries for which treatment is sought in EDs, and this may be related to the severity of the injury. Additional studies of alcohol and injury in general populations that take into account the intensity of exposure to alcohol before the event, as well as recall bias by eliciting data on the proximity of the event to the time of the respondent interview, are necessary for determining unbiased estimates of the attributable fraction of alcohol in injury morbidity.
The goal of this study was to estimate relationships between life-course drinking patterns and the risks of self-reported diabetes, heart problems, and hypertension.
Respondents to the 2005 National Alcohol Survey, age 40 and older, reported ever having a doctor or health professional diagnose each of the health-problem outcomes. Retrospective earlier-life drinking patterns were characterized by lifetime abstention and the frequency of 5+ drinking days (i.e., days on which five or more drinks were consumed) in the respondent's teens, 20s, and 30s. Past-year drinking patterns were measured through intake volume and 5+ days. Potential confounders in the domains of demographics, socioeconomic resources, and other health-risk variables-that is, depression, distress, sense of coherence, body mass index, tobacco use, marijuana use, childhood abuse, and family history of alcohol problems--were controlled through propensity-score matching.
After matching, lifetime abstainers were found to be at increased risk of diabetes compared with both lifetime and current moderate drinkers. Exdrinkers were found to be at increased risk of diabetes, heart problems, and hypertension. Higher volume drinkers without monthly 5+ days were found to be at reduced risk of diabetes relative to moderate-volume current drinkers. Heavy-occasion drinkers were found to be at increased risk of hypertension.
Regular lower quantity alcohol intake may be protective against adult onset of diabetes, but no evidence of protection from heart problems or hypertension was found. Both life course-defined and past year-defined drinking groups exhibit substantial clustering of confounding risk variables, indicating the need for modeling strategies like propensity-score matching. Increased risks among exdrinkers suggest a substantial "sick-quitter" effect.
Despite growing evidence of the adverse health effects of social disadvantage on minority populations, few studies have investigated whether such effects extend to alcohol problems. This study examines social disadvantage as a source of stress and analyzes its association with alcohol use and problems in the three largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States.
Data on white, black, and Hispanic Americans (n = 6,631) were obtained from the 2005 U.S. National Alcohol Survey, a nationally representative telephone-based survey of adults ages 18 and older. Social disadvantage was measured by poverty level, frequency of unfair treatment, racial/ethnic stigma consciousness, and cumulative disadvantage. Outcomes included drinking status, at-risk drinking, and problem drinking.
Blacks and Hispanics reported greater exposure to social disadvantage than whites, including greater poverty, unfair treatment, racial/ethnic stigma, and cumulative disadvantage. In all three racial/ethnic groups, exposure to disadvantage was associated with problem drinking. Frequent unfair treatment, high racial stigma (among minorities), and multiple sources of extreme disadvantage corresponded to a twofold to sixfold greater risk of alcohol problems, partially explained by psychological distress.
These results are consistent with other studies of stress and adverse health consequences associated with social disadvantage. Although there is a clear disparity in exposure to such hardship, experiences of disadvantage appear to have similar effects on problem drinking among both racial/ethnic minorities and whites. Future research should attempt to assess causal directions in the relationships among social and economic hardship, stress, and alcohol problems.