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Monday, April 9, 2012

Factors Predicting Change in Frequency of Heavy Drinking Days among Alcohol-Dependent Participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and

To discover the predictors of change in the frequency of heavy drinking (HD) over a 4-year period in alcohol dependent (AD)-individuals identified in the general population, namely, among participants of the US National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions interviewed at Wave 1 (2001–2002) and at Wave 2 (2004–2005).

The study cohort included subjects meeting DSM-IV criteria for AD in the past year at Wave 1 (n = 1484), who were present at Wave 2 (n = 1172) and had complete data on factors of interest (n = 1123). Frequency of HD was defined as the number of HD days (HDD) (≥5 drinks per day for men and ≥4 for women). Change in frequency of HDD from baseline (Wave 1) to ∼3 years later (Wave 2) was determined. An analysis of covariance model (ANCOVA), adjusting for baseline HDD, was used to examine individual factors associated with change in frequency of HDD, while a multivariable regression model was employed to assess factors associated with change in frequency of HDD simultaneously.

Overall, there was a decrease in mean standard errors (SE) HDD [from 119.4 (1.8) at Wave 1 to 82.5 (2.1) at Wave 2, P < 0.0001]. Compared with smokers, non-smokers had a mean (SE) HDD reduction of 13.4 (6.7), P < 0.05. AD criteria of tolerance was significantly associated (P < 0.05) with less reduction in HDD. Change in depression/dysthymia status was associated with greater reduction in HDD in the ANCOVA model, but not the fully adjusted multivariable model.

Findings from this study suggest that smoking and AD criteria of tolerance are important factors for long-term follow-up of AD patients and they should influence the selection of the kinds of interventions required for AD patients to achieve maximal therapeutic benefit.

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