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Home > The effect of Covid-19 on alcohol use disorder and the role of universal alcohol screening in an inpatient setting: a retrospective cohort control study.

Subhani, Mohsan and Sheth, Abhishek and Unitt, Stuart and Aithal, Guruprasad P and Ryder, Stephen D and Morling, Joanne R (2021) The effect of Covid-19 on alcohol use disorder and the role of universal alcohol screening in an inpatient setting: a retrospective cohort control study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, (agab059), . doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agab059.

External website: https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/advance-article/do...

AIM: To assess the impact of Covid-19 on alcohol use disorders (AUD) and the role of universal alcohol screening (UAS) in an inpatient setting.

METHODS: Retrospective cohorts were defined as pre-pandemic and pandemic admitted to Nottingham University Hospitals (April to October; 2019 and 2020) and had alcohol assessment by AUDIT-C. AUDIT-C score was assessed against age, sex, ethnicity, admission type, speciality and primary diagnosis of mental disorders. Subgroup analysis for Covid-19 positive patients was performed.

RESULTS: A total of 63,927 admissions (47,954 patients) were included. The pandemic period compared to pre-pandemic had fewer overall admissions (27,349 vs 36,578, P < 0.001), fewer with AUD (17.6% vs 18.4%, P = 0.008) but a higher proportion of alcohol dependents (3.7% vs 3.0%, P < 0.0001). In the pandemic those with AUD were more likely to be male (P = 0.003), white (P < 0.001), in relationship (P < 0.001), of higher socioeconomic background (P < 0.001), have alcohol-related mental disorders (P = 0.002), emergency admission (P < 0.001), medical speciality admission (P < 0.001) and shorter length of stay (P < 0.033) compared to pre-pandemic AUD. Covid-19 positive patients with concomitant AUD died at younger age (P < 0.05) than Covid-19 positive patients at low risk for AUD.

CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic changed the characteristics of inpatients with AUD. There was a higher proportion of alcohol-dependent admissions with evidence that a younger, less deprived group have been significantly impacted. UAS provides a useful tool to screen for AUD and to identify the change when facing sudden health crises.


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