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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Role of Sociodemographic Factors in the Risk of Transition from Alcohol Use to Disorders and Remission in Singapore

The aim of the study was to define predictors of transition from alcohol use to disorders, and their remission, among adults residing in Singapore.
The Singapore Mental Health Study was a cross-sectional survey conducted from December 2009 to December 2010. Information on alcohol use, regular use, DSM-IV criteria for abuse and dependence, and remission among 6616 respondents was obtained with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use (drinking at least once in the lifetime) and regular use (ever drinking at least 12 drinks in a 12-month period) was 66.6 and 32%, respectively. Of the regular drinkers, 10.1% progressed into alcohol abuse; 6.9% of abusers turned to alcohol dependence and 16.6 and 7.1% of those with history of alcohol abuse and/or dependence subsequently reported remission defined as cessation of alcohol use and the absence of any symptoms for at least 2 years before interview. Transitions to regular use and to dependence were associated with younger age, Indian ethnicity and an early age of onset of drinking, and women had a higher risk than men of transition from abuse to dependence. Remissions were associated with older age, Malay ethnicity and late age of onset.

The rates of alcohol use and transition to disorders were lower than in other developing countries that have been studied. Sociodemographic predictors include younger age of onset of drinking, something that intervention programs and preventive strategies in Singapore should note.

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