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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sex Differences in Prevalence and Comorbidity of Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders: Results From Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

The present study examined sex differences in lifetime Axis I and II psychiatric comorbidity of DSM-IV alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and drug use disorders (DUDs) among general population U.S. adults. 

Using data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, Wave 2 lifetime prevalences of each disorder comorbid with alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, and drug dependence were compared between men and women. Sex-specific associations of alcohol, any drug, and cannabis- and cocaine-specific abuse and dependence with each comorbid disorder were examined using logistic regression, first with adjustment for sociodemographic variables and then with additional adjustment for all other psychiatric disorders. 

Prevalences of most comorbid disorders differed significantly by sex among respondents with each AUD and DUD. However, after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and additional co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses, there were few sex differences in unique comorbid associations of specific AUDs and DUDs with specific psychiatric disorders

Rates of psychiatric disorders comorbid with AUDs and DUDs indicate large burdens of morbidity in both sexes, highlighting the need for careful assessment and appropriate treatment of both substance use and mental health disorders. The unique comorbid associations with AUDs and DUDs identified in this study further indicate the need for prospective etiological research to characterize these associations, their underlying mechanisms, and the possible sex specificity of those mechanisms. 

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