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Race/ethnic differences in the prevalence and co-occurrence of substance use disorders and independent mood and anxiety disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2006

Background. Very few large national epidemiologic surveys have examined the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among Asians and Native Americans due to small sample sizes. Very little is also known about the co-occurrences between substance use disorders and mood and anxiety disorders among these two minority groups and how their rates compare to Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics.

Method. Analyses were based on a large (n=43093) nationally representative survey of the adult (18+ years), U.S. population supplemented by a group quarters sampling frame. Prevalences and associations of major DSM-IV mood, anxiety and substance use disorders were examined among all major race/ethnic subgroups of the population.

Results. Twelve-month rates of most mood, anxiety and substance use disorders were generally greatest among Native Americans and lowest among Asians. For most race/ethnic subgroups, alcohol and drug dependence, but not abuse, were significantly associated with mood disorders. With few exceptions, there were no significant associations between alcohol and drug abuse and anxiety disorders. In contrast, alcohol dependence was associated with most anxiety disorders among Whites, Blacks and Asians, but not among Native Americans.

Conclusions. The 12-month prevalence of substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders varied greatly across the five major race/ethnic subgroups of the population. Twelve-month co-occurrence of substance use disorders and mood and anxiety disorders was pervasive among all race/ethnic subgroups. Future research is also needed to understand race/ethnic differentials in prevalence and co-occurrence of these disorders with a particular focus on factors that may give rise to them.

Corresponding author
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, Room 3077, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, M.S. 9304, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304, USA. (Email:
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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