BACKGROUND: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) commonly co-occurs with other health conditions or other substance use, complicating our understanding of the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of AUD. We described the HRQoL of alcohol use disorder in the presence of co-occurring conditions and identified the contribution of each.
METHODS: Secondary analysis of National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III data, consisting of 36,309 non-institutionalized US adults; descriptive and regression analysis. HRQoL measured via the SF-6D; AUD via the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (AUDADIS-5); physical, mental health, and substance use disorders/conditions as reported or assessed via AUDADIS-5.
RESULTS: AUD was independently associated with lower HRQoL for individuals experiencing co-occurring conditions. Compared to no AUD, past year AUD reduced SF-6D score by 0.0304 (SE = 0.0027) and prior-to-past-year AUD reduced SF-6D by 0.0163 (SE = 0.0023). AUD's co-occurring conditions were independently associated with lower HRQoL, beyond the reduction from AUD: any co-occurring physical health condition was associated with a 0.062 point reduction in SF-6D score (SE = 0.0023), any mental health condition with a 0.084 point reduction (SE = 0.0025), and any substance use disorder with a 0.038 point reduction (SE = 0.0023).
CONCLUSIONS: AUD's association with diminished HRQoL may be explained in large part by the presence of co-occurring conditions among individuals reporting AUD, as these co-occurring conditions are associated with substantial decrements in HRQoL-often eclipsing the magnitude of the decrements associated with AUD alone. Alcohol use interventions endeavoring to improve HRQoL should consider the entirety of an individual to design patient-centered care.