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Drinking patterns and DSM-IV alcohol use disorders? criteria in Argentinean Emergency Department patients
Alcohol Dependence and Addiction
Nova Science Publishers
Lugar: Hauppauge NY; Año: 2012; p. 127 - 139
Background: Previous studies have shown cultural variations in normative drinking and furthermore, in the quantity and frequency of drinking related to alcohol use disorders. Aim: The main goal of this study is to characterize alcohol drinking patterns in Argentinean Emergency Department patients, and secondly, to explore the association between those drinking patterns and DSM-IV alcohol use disorders. Method: Data were collected from a probability sample of patients admitted to the Emergency Department of a large public hospital in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Data analyzed here pertain to those who reported consuming at least one drink during the last twelve months (n=529). A factor analysis of multiple correspondences and a hierarchic classification were performed. For the factor analysis, usual quantity and frequency of drinking (for the last 12 months) were considered active variables; number of DSM-IV dependence criteria met, positive or negative diagnostic status for abuse, positive or negative diagnostic status for dependence (both for the last 12 months), and socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender and economic level) were considered illustrative variables. Results: The first five factorial axes were retained, accounting for 88% of the total variance. Hierarchic classification resulted in six distinctive classes of drinking patterns. Two patterns were associated with a positive diagnosis of abuse and dependence, respectively. One, drinking between 4 and 6 drinks per occasion mostly on a weekly basis, was associated with a diagnosis of abuse; this pattern was also associated with meeting one or two dependence criteria (dependence orphans). The other, drinking 7 or more drinks per occasion, was associated with a diagnosis of dependence, and also with a diagnostic orphan condition. This class, composed primarily of males, was not characterized by any particular frequency of drinking. The other four drinking patterns were not associated with a positive diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder. Two of them were characterized by drinking low quantities with a low frequency (either monthly or yearly). Participants in both of these classes tended to be female. The other two patterns were characterized by drinking less than 3 drinks per occasion, either daily or weekly: the former associated with being older than 35 years, and the later with no distinctive socio-demographic characteristics. Conclusions: Results demonstrated six distinct drinking patterns, two of them related to a positive diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder. Our findings support previous research indicating that dependence orphans share some characteristics with abuse and dependence cases. Given the lack of similar studies in the region, these findings, although descriptive, enrich the knowledge of alcohol use disorders in the regional context. Furthermore, they may contribute to the development of local drinking guidelines and prevention strategies.