Teen Alcohol Dependence Tied to Later Depression

However, no association seen for teen alcohol consumption and depression

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FRIDAY, June 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol dependence at age 18 years is associated with depression at age 24 years, according to a study published online June 1 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Gemma Hammerton, Ph.D., from University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from 3,902 adolescents participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Alcohol dependence and consumption were measured at about age 16, 18, 19, 21, and 23 years using self-reports, and depression was assessed at 24 years.

In adjusted analyses, the researchers observed a positive association between alcohol dependence at 18 years of age (latent intercept) and depression at 24 years of age (probit coefficient: 0.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.02 to 0.25; P = 0.019). However, there was no association observed between rate of change (linear slope) and depression (probit coefficient: 0.10; 95 percent confidence interval, –0.82 to 1.01; P = 0.84). Furthermore, in adjusted analyses, there was no association seen between alcohol consumption and depression (latent intercept probit coefficient: –0.01; 95 percent confidence interval, –0.06 to 0.03; P = 0.60; linear slope probit coefficient: 0.01; 95 percent confidence interval, –0.40 to 0.42; P = 0.96).

"We found evidence that alcohol dependence at age 18 years was associated with depression at age 24 years. We found no evidence that frequency or quantity of consumption was associated with depression," the authors write. "Our findings therefore suggest that high frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption might not increase the risk of depression during young adulthood, unless there are also features of dependency involved."

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