Alcoholism Tops Disease Onset

Occasions c uid 1186467 Alcohol Dependence, Depression, Anxiety Top List in New U.S.A. Study. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) study reveals incidence of major psychiatric disorders

This study looked for the first onset of substance use disorders (i.e., alcohol and drug abuse and dependence) and major mood and anxiety disorders.

This landmark survey is the first conducted in the U.S. to identify rates of people who FIRST suffer of these disorders in any one year.

The research found that each year the following percentage of the population would BEGIN to suffer one of these diseases.

  • alcohol dependence 1.7% or one in every 59 people will begin to be alcoholic,
  • alcohol abuse 1.0% or one in every 100 people will begin to abuse alcohol,
  • major depressive disorder 1.5% or one in every 67 people will begin to be depressed,
  • generalized anxiety disorder 1.12% or one in every 89 people will begin to be anxious,
  • panic disorder 0.62% or one in every 161 people will begin to suffer panic symptoms,
  • bipolar disorder 0.53% or one in every 188 people will begin to suffer from bipolar symptoms,
  • phobia 0.44% or one in every 227 people will begin to be phobic,
  • social phobia 0.32% or one in every 313 people will begin to have social fear,
  • drug abuse 0.28% or one in every 357 people will begin to abuse drugs,
  • drug dependence 0.32% or one in every 313 people will begin to be addictive,

These rates are comparable to other common medical diseases such as;

  • lung cancer 0.06% or one in every 1,667 people will begin to get cancer,
  • stroke 0.45% or one in every 222 people will begin to suffer stroke symptoms,
  • cardiovascular disease 1.5% or one in every 66 people will begin to suffer heart problems.

The study found that men were at greater risk of first onset alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence and drug dependence, and new disease experiences were greatest among 20- to 29-year-olds and individuals who had been separated / divorced / widowed or never married.

By contrast, the risk of most anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder, was greatest among women, and all anxiety disorder incidence rates were greater in the youngest age groups (20 to 54 year olds).

Among mood disorders examined in this study, the risk of first onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) was greatest among women.

“Information on psychiatric risk factors identified in this study can begin to inform a new class of preventive interventions aimed at preventing a second disorder or set of disorders,” said Bridget Grant. “As to clinical implications, this study helps to clarify the risk of future disorders posed by chronologically primary disorders, information that may be used to improve treatment planning and counsel patients at risk of developing secondary disorders.”

Research report; Grant, B. Molecular Psychiatry, April 22, 2008. News release, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Sociodemographic and Psychopathologic Predictors of First Incidence of DSM-IV Substance Use, Mood, and Anxiety Disorders: Results from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Note; These rates are specific to the United States, other countries may have differing rates. However, developed countries with similar socio-demographics may have similar rates.

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