Department of Economics and Business Economics

The epidemiology of alcohol use disorders cross-nationally: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Meyer D. Glantz, National Institute on Drug Abuse
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  • Chrianna Bharat, University of New South Wales
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  • Louisa Degenhardt, University of New South Wales
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  • Nancy A. Sampson, Harvard Medical School
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  • Kate M. Scott, University of Otago
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  • Carmen C.W. Lim, The University of Queensland
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  • Ali Al-Hamzawi, Al-Qadisiya University
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  • Jordi Alonso, Pompeu Fabra University, Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública-CIBERESP)
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  • Laura Helena Andrade, Núcleo de Epidemiologia Psiquiátrica - LIM 23, Universidade de São Paulo – USP
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  • Graca Cardoso, NOVA University Lisbon
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  • Giovanni De Girolamo, IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio-Fatebenefratelli
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  • Oye Gureje, University College Hospital, Ibadan
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  • Yanling He, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
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  • Hristo Hinkov, National Center of Public Health and Analyses
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  • Elie G. Karam, Balamand University, Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, Institute for Development Research Advocacy and Applied Care (IDRAAC)
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  • Georges Karam, Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, Institute for Development Research Advocacy and Applied Care (IDRAAC)
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  • Viviane Kovess-Masfety, Universite Paris 5
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  • Victor Lasebikan, University of Ibadan
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  • Sing Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong
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  • Daphna Levinson, Ministry of Health
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  • John McGrath
  • Maria Elena Medina-Mora, National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente
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  • Constanta Mihaescu-Pintia, National School of Public Health, Management and Professional Development
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  • Zeina Mneimneh, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Jacek Moskalewicz, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warszawa
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  • Fernando Navarro-Mateu, Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública-CIBERESP)
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  • José Posada-Villa, Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca
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  • Charlene Rapsey, University of Otago
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  • Juan Carlos Stagnaro, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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  • Hisateru Tachimori, National Center for Neurology and Psychiatry
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  • Margreet Ten Have, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction
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  • Nathan Tintle, Dordt College
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  • Yolanda Torres, Universidad CES
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  • David R. Williams, Harvard School of Public Health
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  • Yuval Ziv, Ministry of Health
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  • Ronald C. Kessler, Harvard Medical School

Background: Prevalences of Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) and Mental Health Disorders (MHDs) in many individual countries have been reported but there are few cross-national studies. The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative standardizes methodological factors facilitating comparison of the prevalences and associated factors of AUDs in a large number of countries to identify differences and commonalities. Methods: Lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates of DSM-IV AUDs, MHDs, and associations were assessed in the 29 WMH surveys using the WHO CIDI 3.0. Results: Prevalence estimates of alcohol use and AUD across countries and WHO regions varied widely. Mean lifetime prevalence of alcohol use in all countries combined was 80%, ranging from 3.8% to 97.1%. Combined average population lifetime and 12-month prevalence of AUDs were 8.6% and 2.2% respectively and 10.7% and 4.4% among non-abstainers. Of individuals with a lifetime AUD, 43.9% had at least one lifetime MHD and 17.9% of respondents with a lifetime MHD had a lifetime AUD. For most comorbidity combinations, the MHD preceded the onset of the AUD. AUD prevalence was much higher for men than women. 15% of all lifetime AUD cases developed before age 18. Higher household income and being older at time of interview, married, and more educated, were associated with a lower risk for lifetime AUD and AUD persistence. Conclusions: Prevalence of alcohol use and AUD is high overall, with large variation worldwide. The WMH surveys corroborate the wide geographic consistency of a number of well-documented clinical and epidemiological findings and patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106128
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume102
Number of pages15
ISSN0306-4603
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Abuse, Alcohol, Comorbidity, Dependence, Prevalence, Remission

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