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Health-associated changes in drinking: a period prevalence study of the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) cohort (1987-1995).

TitleHealth-associated changes in drinking: a period prevalence study of the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) cohort (1987-1995).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsEigenbrodt ML, Fuchs FD, Hutchinson RG, Paton CC, Goff DC, Couper DJ
JournalPrev Med
Date Published2000 Jul
KeywordsAdult, Age Distribution, Aged, Alcoholism, Arteriosclerosis, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Confidence Intervals, Drinking Behavior, Female, Health Status, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Population Surveillance, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sex Distribution, United States

BACKGROUND: Several investigators have suggested that drinking cessation occurs because of poor health which may bias studies on the benefit or risk of alcohol consumption.

METHODS: Drinking status, level of alcohol consumption, and two measures of health (perceived health and physician diagnosed chronic disease status) were determined from exams 1 (1987-1989) and 3 (1993-1995) on 12,562 African- and European-American participants, who were aged 45-64 years at exam 1 in the ARIC Study. For those in good health at exam 1, logistic regression analyses were used to model the association between health decline and drinking change at exam 3.

RESULTS: Among the total population, drinking cessation was significantly more common among those who reported poor health at exam 3, and nondrinkers were unlikely to begin drinking regardless of exam 3 health. Using different measures of health status resulted in associations whose strength and significance varied with ethnicity and, in some cases, by gender.

CONCLUSION: While the current data do not prove that the health decline occurred prior to drinking cessation, our findings support the hypothesis that poor health results in drinking changes which could potentially bias studies of alcohol's benefit and risk even when lifetime abstainers are used as the reference group.

Alternate JournalPrev Med
PubMed ID10896847
Grant ListN01-HC-55015 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55016 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55018 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States