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A prospective evaluation of disability associated with alcohol use disorders in the United States: An application of the quantile regression approach

Authors

  • Hui G. Cheng PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Suicide Research and Prevention Center, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
    • Address correspondence to Dr. Cheng, Suicide Research and Prevention Center, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, No. 3210 Humin Rd., Shanghai 201108, China. E-mail: chenghu2@msu.edu.

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  • Orla McBride PhD

    1. School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK
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Abstract

Aims

This study aims to estimate, using a unique quantile regression approach, the relationship linking alcohol use disorder (AUD) and disability (physical and mental) using data from a prospective study of household dwelling adults in the United States.

Methods

Data from the two-wave National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) are used to assess AUD-associated disability. A total of 24,716 non-institutionalized adults are grouped into “never AUD” and “newly incident AUD” groups. The main outcome variables of interest are the changes in physical and mental disability levels between the two waves, as measured by summary scores of the Short Form Health Survey Version 2. Alcohol use disorder and other mental disorders are assessed by the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule DSM-IV version. Linear regression and quantile regression approaches are used for analysis.

Results

The occurrence of AUD is associated with poorer mental disability outcomes, mainly due to the occurrence of alcohol dependence. The association for physical disability is dependent on the history of other mental disorders. Among those with antecedent mental disorders, alcohol dependence is associated with better physical health; among those without antecedent mental disorders, alcohol dependence is associated with poorer outcomes in physical health.

Conclusions

Evidence tentatively supports a causal link between AUD and mental disability. (Am J Addict 2013;22:551–557)

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