Home > Alcohol use, abuse and dependence in an older European population: results from the MentDis_ICF65+ study.

Muñoz, Manuel and Ausín, Berta and Santos-Olmo, Ana B and Härter, Martin and Volkert, Jana and Schulz, Holger and Sehner, Susanne and Dehoust, Maria Christina and Suling, Anna and Wegscheider, Karl and Canuto, Alessandra and Crawford, Mike J and Grassi, Luigi and Da Ronch, Chiara and Hershkovitz, Yael and Quirk, Alan and Rotenstein, Ora and Shalev, Arieh Y and Strehle, Jens and Weber, Kerstin and Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich and Andreas, Sylke (2018) Alcohol use, abuse and dependence in an older European population: results from the MentDis_ICF65+ study. PLoS ONE, 13, (4), e0196574. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196574.

External website: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.137...

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use disorders (AUD) in older people have been the subject of increasing interest in Europe and worldwide. However, thus far, no reliable data exist regarding the prevalence of AUD in people over the age of 65 years in Europe.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the current (past month), 12-month and lifetime prevalence of alcohol use, abuse and dependence in people aged 65-84 years.

STUDY DESIGN: The MentDis_ICF65+ study was a representative stepwise cross-sectional survey that was conducted in six European and associated cities (Hamburg, Germany; Ferrara, Italy; London/Canterbury, England; Madrid, Spain; Geneva, Switzerland and Jerusalem, Israel).

METHOD: In total, 3,142 community-dwelling people aged between 65 and 84 years who lived in participating cities were assessed with an age-sensitive diagnostic interview (CIDI65+).

RESULTS: The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use was 81% for the overall sample. The observed AUD (DSM-IV-TR) prevalence was as follows: current, 1.1%; 12-month, 5.3% and lifetime, 8.8%. Alcohol consumption and AUD were more prevalent in males, and a significant interaction between gender and city was observed; greater gender differences in the prevalence of these disorders were observed in Hamburg, London/Canterbury and Geneva in comparison to the other cities. The prevalence of lifetime alcohol consumption and 12-month AUD tended to be lower in older persons.

CONCLUSION: The results highlight the appropriateness of using age-adjusted diagnostic tools (CIDI65+) to identify alcohol use and AUD in older people. Different alcohol use patterns were observed in males and females. The results seem to indicate the presence of different alcohol use patterns between northern and southern European countries. Specialized services are proposed, including brief and/or more intensive interventions framed intensive and more simple interventions framed in stepped care strategies, to improve the social and health resources available for older people across Europe.

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