Women With Depressive Symptoms Are At Risk Of Developing Alcohol Problems Over Time

December 02, 1997

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- One of the first studies to investigate the relationship between gender, depression and alcohol problems in a large community sample over a number of years has shown that women who have symptoms of depression are at risk of developing alcohol problems.

The study by researchers at the University at Buffalo did not find a relationship between depressive symptoms and alcohol problems among men.

The study is published in the Dec. 2 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, which is dedicated to research by faculty members and graduates of the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.

Beth Moscato, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and lead author of the study, hypothesized that depressive symptoms predicted subsequent alcohol problems in women, but that the inverse was true for men, i.e., that alcohol problems predicted depression.

To test the hypothesis, Moscato and colleagues studied a group of 1,306 adults from Erie County, N.Y., for seven years. Participants were at least 19 years old when the study began in 1986. Follow-up interviews were completed in 1989 and 1993.

Participants supplied information on alcohol use, alcohol-related problems and depressive symptoms, as well as socio-demographic information

Results showed that women who initially were classified as having depressive symptoms were 3 times more likely to have alcohol problems after three years and 2 1/2 times more likely after four years than women who did not report depressive symptoms. No relationship was found at seven years.

Alcohol problems did not predict subsequent depressive symptoms in men.

"These findings should be a flag to health practitioners," Moscato said. "If a woman has a high level of depressive symptoms, the practitioner should also evaluate drinking problems

over time. Depression and health problems related to alcohol consumption are major public-health concerns. Women have been understudied, particularly regarding alcohol problems. "If we can sort out the nature of these relationships, we can better define who is at risk for which condition at what point in time. We can then target interventions to these high-risk groups."

Contributing researchers were Marcia Russell, Ph.D., and Pamela Mudar, Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo; Maria Zielezny, Ph.D., UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine; Evelyn Bromet, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, SUNY at Stony Brook; Gladys Egri, M.D., UB Department of Psychiatry, and James R. Marshall, Ph.D., formerly of UB, now at the Arizona Cancer Center.
-end-


University at Buffalo

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.