AIMS: To estimate US population health utilities for subgroups defined by alcohol use disorder (AUD) status and consumption level.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.
SETTING: Community settings in the United States (i.e. excluding institutional settings).
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 36,042 adults (age 18+) in non-institutional settings in the United States.
MEASUREMENTS: We used 12-item Short Form Survey (SF-12) data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III to calculate mean Short Form-6 dimension (SF-6D) utility scores across World Health Organization alcohol consumption risk levels-very high risk, high risk, medium risk, low risk and an additional abstinent level-for three groups: (1) the general population (n = 36,042), (2) individuals with life-time AUD (n = 9925) and (3) individuals with current AUD (n = 5083), and assessed minimally important differences (MIDs) between consumption levels. Each group is a subset of the previous group.
FINDINGS: The general population's mean SF-6D utility was higher than that of individuals with life-time or current AUD across all consumption risk levels (0.79 versus 0.76 for both AUD groups). For all groups, SF-6D utilities increased as consumption risk level decreased to non-abstinent levels, and reducing consumption from very high risk to any lower level was associated with a statistically significant and meaningful improvement in utility. For individuals with life-time or current AUD, becoming abstinent from high-, medium- and low-risk levels was associated with significantly and meaningfully worse utilities.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher alcohol consumption risk levels appear to be associated with lower health index scores for the general population and individuals with a history of alcohol use disorder, meaning that higher alcohol consumption is associated with worse health-related quality of life.