A 14-year multiwave panel design was used to examine relationships between longitudinal alcohol-consumption patterns, especially persistent moderate use, and change in health-related quality of life among middle-aged and older adults.
A nationally representative sample of 5,404 community-dwelling Canadians aged 50 and older
at baseline (1994/1995) was obtained from the
longitudinal National Population Health Survey.
Alcohol-consumption patterns were developed based on the quantity and frequency of use in the 12
months before the interview. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the Health Utilities Index Mark
3 (HUI3). Latent growth curve modeling was used to
estimate the change in HUI3 for each alcohol pattern after adjusting for covariates measured at baseline.
Most participants showed stable alcoholconsumption
patterns over 6 years. Persistent nonusers,
persistent former users, those decreasing their consumption levels, and those with unstable patterns
(i.e., U shaped and inverted U shaped) had lower HUI3 scores at baseline compared with persistent
moderate drinkers. A more rapid decline in HUI3
scores than that observed for persistent moderate
users was seen only in those with decreasing
consumption (p < .001). In a subgroup identified as consistently healthy before follow-up, longitudinal drinking patterns were associated with initial HUI3
scores but not rates of change.
The authors conclude that persistent moderate drinkers had higher initial levels of health-related
quality of life than persistent nonusers, persistent former users, decreasing users, U-shaped users, and inverted U-shaped users. However, rates of decline over time were similar for all groups except those decreasing their consumption, who had a greater decline in their level of health-related quality of life
than persistent moderate users.
Source: Alcohol Use Patterns and Trajectories of Health- Related Quality of Life in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A 14-
Year Population-Based Study. MS. Kaplan, N Huguet, D Feeny,
Bentson H McFarlad, R Caetano, J Bernier, N Giesbrecht, L Oliver,
N Ross. J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 73, 581–590, 2012.