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Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for anxiety and depression: Results from the longitudinal follow-up of the National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

  • Jonathan C. Haynes (a1), Michael Farrell (a2), Nicola Singleton (a3), Howard Meltzer (a4), Ricardo Araya (a5), Glyn Lewis (a5) and Nicola J. Wiles (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Longitudinal studies have been inconclusive in identifying alcohol as a risk factor for anxiety and depression.

Aims

To examine whether excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for anxiety and depression in the general population, and whether anxiety and depression are risk factors for excessive alcohol consumption.

Method

Data were analysed from the 18-month follow-up of the Psychiatric Morbidity Among Adults Living in Private Households, 2000 survey.

Results

Hazardous and dependent drinking were not associated with onset of anxiety and depression at follow-up. Binge-drinking was non-significantly associated with incident anxiety and depression (adjusted OR= 1.36, 95% CI 0.74–2.50). Abstainers were less likely to have new-onset anxiety and depression at follow-up. Anxiety and depression or sub-threshold symptoms at baseline were not associated with incident hazardous or binge-drinking at follow-up, but there was weak evidence linking sub-threshold symptoms with onset of alcohol dependence (adjusted OR=2.04, 95% CI 0.84–4.97).

Conclusions

Excessive alcohol consumption was not associated with the onset of anxiety and depression but abstinence was associated with a lower risk. Sub-threshold symptoms were weakly associated with new-onset alcohol dependence.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Jonathan C. Haynes, Academic Unit of Psychiatry, Department of Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol, Cotham House, Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JL, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 117 954 6664; fax: +44 (0) 117 954 6672; e-mail: jon.haynes@awp.nhs.uk
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for anxiety and depression: Results from the longitudinal follow-up of the National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

  • Jonathan C. Haynes (a1), Michael Farrell (a2), Nicola Singleton (a3), Howard Meltzer (a4), Ricardo Araya (a5), Glyn Lewis (a5) and Nicola J. Wiles (a5)...
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