Correlates of Alcohol Abstinence and At-Risk Alcohol Consumption in Older Adults with Depression: the NESDO Study
SourceAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22, 9, (2014), pp. 866-874
Article / Letter to editor
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American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVES: To compare alcohol use between depressed and nondepressed older adults, and to investigate correlates of alcohol abstinence and at-risk alcohol consumption in depressed older adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 373 participants (mean [standard deviation] age: 70.6 [7.3] years; 66% women) diagnosed with a depressive disorder, and 128 nondepressed participants. MEASUREMENTS: Alcohol use was assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Participants were categorized into abstainers (AUDIT score: 0), moderate drinkers (AUDIT score: 1-4), and at-risk drinkers (AUDIT score: >/=5). Multinomial logistic regression analysis was performed with AUDIT categories as outcome, and demographic, social, somatic, and psychological variables as determinants. RESULTS: The depressed group consisted of 40.2% abstainers, 40.8% moderate drinkers, and 19.0% at-risk drinkers. The depressed participants were more often abstinent and less often moderate drinkers than the nondepressed participants; they did not differ in at-risk drinking. Depressed abstainers more often used benzodiazepines but less often used antidepressants, and they had a poorer cognitive function than depressed moderate drinkers. Depressed at-risk drinkers were more often smokers and had fewer functional limitations but more severe depressive symptoms than depressed moderate drinkers. CONCLUSIONS: Although alcohol abstinence was more common in depressed than in nondepressed older adults, 19% of depressed persons were at-risk drinkers. Because at-risk drinking is associated with more severe depression and may have a negative impact on health and treatment outcome, it is important that physicians consider alcohol use in depressed older adults.
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