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Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2012;7:6. doi: 10.1186/1940-0640-7-6. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Risk of future trauma based on alcohol screening scores: a two-year prospective cohort study among US veterans.

Author information

1
Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 795 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Severe alcohol misuse as measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) is associated with increased risk of future fractures and trauma-related hospitalizations. This study examined the association between AUDIT-C scores and two-year risk of any type of trauma among US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients and assessed whether risk varied by age or gender.

METHODS:

Outpatients (215, 924 male and 9168 female) who returned mailed AUDIT-C questionnaires were followed for 24 months in the medical record for any International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) code related to trauma. The two-year prevalence of trauma was examined as a function of AUDIT-C scores, with low-level drinking (AUDIT-C 1-4) as the reference group. Men and women were examined separately, and age-stratified analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Having an AUDIT-C score of 9-12 (indicating severe alcohol misuse) was associated with increased risk for trauma. Mean (SD) ages for men and women were 68.2 (11.5) and 57.2 (15.8), respectively. Age-stratified analyses showed that, for men≤50 years, those with AUDIT-C scores≥9 had an increased risk for trauma compared with those with AUDIT-C scores in the 1-4 range (adjusted prevalence, 25.7% versus 20.8%, respectively; OR=1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.50). For men≥65 years with average comorbidity and education, those with AUDIT-C scores of 5-8 (adjusted prevalence, 7.9% versus 7.4%; OR=1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.31) and 9-12 (adjusted prevalence 11.1% versus 7.4%; OR=1.68; 95% CI, 1.30-2.17) were at significantly increased risk for trauma compared with men≥65 years in the reference group. Higher AUDIT-C scores were not associated with increased risk of trauma among women.

CONCLUSIONS:

Men with severe alcohol misuse (AUDIT-C 9-12) demonstrate an increased risk of trauma. Men≥65 showed an increased risk for trauma at all levels of alcohol misuse (AUDIT-C 5-8 and 9-12). These findings may be used as part of an evidence-based brief intervention for alcohol use disorders. More research is needed to understand the relationship between AUDIT-C scores and risk of trauma in women.

KEYWORDS:

AUDIT-C; Age; Alcohol; Fracture; Gender; Screening; Trauma; Women

PMID:
22966411
PMCID:
PMC3414833
DOI:
10.1186/1940-0640-7-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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