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Women and Men Admitted for Alcohol Intoxication at an Emergency Department: Alcohol Use Disorders, Substance Use and Health and Social Status 7 Years Later

30 Aug 2016

Aims
To assess the prevalence of alcohol use disorder (AUD), substance use, mental health and social status 7 years following an Emergency Department (ED) admission for alcohol intoxication. To assess gender differences in these prevalences.

Methods
Cohort of 631 patients aged 18–30 years admitted for alcohol intoxication in 2006–2007 at a tertiary referral hospital in Switzerland, contacted for an interview in 2014. Assessment consisted of demography, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for AUD, Patient Health Questionnaire (depression, anxiety) and lifetime/past year use of tobacco/illegal drugs. Gender differences were assessed with Chi-square tests, t-tests and Wilcoxon tests.

Results
In 2014, 318/631 (50.4%) completed the interview. Study completers were not different from non-completers on baseline characteristics (all P > 0.2). Of study completers, 36.8% were unemployed, 56.9% reported hazardous alcohol use, 15.1% alcohol dependence, 13.2% harmful use, 18.6% depression, 15.4% anxiety disorder. Prevalence of any use (lifetime/past year) was 93.4%/80.2% for tobacco, 86.6%/53.1% for cannabis, 54.7%/22.6% for cocaine, 25.6%/13.5% for sedatives, 40.9%/11.0% for stimulants, 21.7%/7.2% for opioids. Men reported significantly more binge drinking, AUD, cannabis use (past year) and more lifetime cannabis, cocaine and stimulants use (all P < 0.05). There was no gender difference in the prevalence of hazardous alcohol use and tobacco use. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was significantly higher in women (P < 0.05).

Conclusions
Seven years after being admitted for alcohol intoxication, young patients are likely to present substance misuse, mental health disorders and social problems, suggesting  that they should be offered secondary prevention measures while in the ED.

Short summary
We studied a cohort of patients aged 18–30 and admitted for alcohol intoxication in 2006–2007 at a tertiary hospital. Participants were interviewed in 2014. Seven years after an admission for alcohol intoxication, patients are likely to present AUDs, substance misuse, mental health disorders and social problems.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Alcohol and Alcoholism