Cohort and age trends in age 35–45 prevalence of alcohol use disorder symptomology, by severity, sex, race, and education

Justin Jager, Katherine M. Keyes, Daye Son, Deb Kloska, Megan E. Patrick, John E. Schulenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: To present national trends by age and cohort among middle-aged adults in the prevalence of AUD symptomology, by severity, sex, race, and education. Design: National, multi-cohort longitudinal probability samples of US adults, with data collected at ages 35, 40, and 45 among 14 cohorts who reached age 45 between 2003 and 2016. Setting: Data were collected via self-administered questionnaires to adults in the United States. Participants: The sample consisted of 20,634 individuals. Measurements: 5-year prevalence of symptoms consistent with a DSM-5 AUD. Findings: Between ages 35–45 prevalence of any AUD symptoms decreased 19 %; decreases were most evident between ages 35–40. From 2003 to 2016, AUD symptoms were steady across cohort. However, because the pace of decrease across ages 35–45 slowed across cohort, cohort differences emerged at specific ages: age 35 prevalence decreased 18 % across cohort, but age 45 prevalence was equivalent across cohort. Age and cohort effects, and their interaction, did not vary by AUD severity level. Declines in AUD symptoms across age were 17 % slower for women, and declines in AUD symptoms across age and cohort were 11 % and 29 % slower, respectively, for those with a college degree. The protection afforded by a college degree was reversed among mild AUD and most pronounced for severe AUD. Conclusions: AUDs may be more plastic and responsive to intervention during early mid-life than later. Despite progress in reducing the burden of AUD in the US population among younger middle-aged adults, an increased focus remains necessary as they continue to age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108820
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume226
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Cohort
  • Middle-aged adults
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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