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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Sep 1;117(2-3):158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms over time: a longitudinal study of patients with and without HIV infection.

Author information

1
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8093, United States. lynn.sullivan@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The impact of alcohol consumption on depressive symptoms over time among patients who do not meet criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence is not known.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the impact of varying levels of alcohol consumption on depressive symptoms over time in patients with and without HIV infection.

DESIGN:

We used data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS). We used generalized estimating equation models to assess the association of alcohol-related categories, as a fixed effect, on the time-varying outcome of depressive symptoms.

PARTICIPANTS:

VACS is a prospectively enrolled cohort study of HIV-infected patients and age-, race- and site-matched HIV uninfected patients.

MAIN MEASURES:

Hazardous, binge drinking, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were defined using standard criteria. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9).

KEY RESULTS:

Among the 2446 patients, 19% reported past but not current alcohol use, 50% non-hazardous drinking, 8% hazardous drinking, 14% binge drinking, and 10% met criteria for alcohol or dependence. At baseline, depressive symptoms were higher in hazardous and binge drinkers than in past and non-hazardous drinkers (OR=2.65; CI=1.50/4.69; p<.001) and similar to those with abuse or dependence. There was no difference in the association between alcohol-related category and depressive symptoms by HIV status (OR=0.99; CI=.83/1.18; p=.88). Hazardous drinkers were 2.53 (95% CI=1.34/4.81) times and binge drinkers were 2.14 (95% CI=1.49/3.07) times more likely to meet criteria for depression when compared to non-hazardous drinkers. The associations between alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms persisted over three years and were responsive to changes in alcohol-related categories.

CONCLUSIONS:

HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected hazardous and binge drinkers have depressive symptoms that are more severe than non-hazardous and non-drinkers and similar to those with alcohol abuse or dependence. Patients who switch to a higher or lower level of drinking experience a similar alteration in their depressive symptoms. Interventions to decrease unhealthy alcohol consumption may improve depressive symptoms.

PMID:
21345624
PMCID:
PMC3113463
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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