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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 Apr;41(4):769-778. doi: 10.1111/acer.13356. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Alcohol Use Patterns and DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorder on Both Sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border.

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Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, California.
Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria, Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.



Alcohol consumption patterns on the U.S.-Mexico border and their relationships with DSM-5 alcohol use disorders (AUD) have been understudied. Yet, the effects of drinking by Mexican-origin individuals may differ between cities on versus off the border both in the United States and in Mexico. We characterize prior 12-month drinking patterns and examine their relationships with AUD, in border and off-border cities of Texas and adjacent Mexican states.


Data come from the U.S.-Mexico Study of Alcohol and Related Conditions involving 2,336 Mexican Americans in Texas and 2,460 Mexicans in bordering states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas in Mexico. Drinking pattern was defined as an interaction between volume and maximum amount, or intensity (never vs. ever 5+/4+ [men/women], 8+, and 12+ drinks in a day). DSM-5 AUD was assessed using an adaptation of the Alcohol Section of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview core. Separately by gender, 5 logistic regressions models controlling for age were estimated predicting symptoms in 2 or more AUD criteria domains from volume, heavy pattern and, successively, effects of country, and (by country) residing on vs. off the border, or in each of 3 cities/country.


A segmentation analysis for Texas males based on rate of experiencing AUD generated several distinct volume groups, each partitioned by an empirically selected maximum, and helped identify a drinking-pattern typology. In gender-stratified models of AUD rates using this typology, adjusting for age, significant volume and intensity effects were seen, more strongly in the United States. Border versus interior differences implied more AUD for given patterns at the border in the United States and the reverse in Mexico, with some city differences also evident.


Drinking-pattern analyses confirm that border proximity may affect drinking problems but in opposite directions in the United States and Mexico, possibly related to economic and psychological stresses specific to respective communities.


Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Drinking; Mexican Origin; Population Survey; U.S.-Mexico Border

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