Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for anxiety and depression: Results from the longitudinal follow-up of the National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey
Haynes JC, Farrell M, Singleton N, Meltzer H, Araya R, Lewis G, Wiles NJ. Br J Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;187:544-51.
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.