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      Trends in US Alcohol Consumption Frequency During the First Wave of the SARS‐CoV‐2 Pandemic


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          The SARS‐CoV‐2 pandemic created disruptions and stressors which may have influenced alcohol consumption frequency trends. Varying COVID‐19 health burden and alcohol policies may have contributed to different consumption trends between states. The aim of this study is to assess trends in alcohol consumption and moderation by state of residence.


          We examined trends in adult drinking days, during the first wave of the pandemic (March 10 to June 8) using longitudinal data from the Understanding America Study ( N = 6,172 unique participants; N = 28,059 observations). Because state mandates were responsive to disease burden, we modeled the interaction of time by COVID‐19 burden, defined as whether the state had the median (or higher) daily incidence of COVID‐19 cases on the survey date, and state random effects. We controlled for individual sociodemographics, perceived personal/familial COVID‐19 burden, mental health symptomology, and risk avoidance.


          Drinking days increased throughout the duration (incidence risk ratio [IRR] for drinking per increase in one calendar day = 1.003, 95% CI 1.001, 1.004); trends were heterogeneous by disease burden, with individuals living in states with lower COVID‐19 burden increasing (IRR = 1.005, 95% CI 1.003, 1.007) faster than those living in states with higher COVID‐19 burden (IRR = 1.000, 95% CI 0.998, 1.002). Trends were heterogeneous between states, but there was no evidence of systematic geographic clustering of state trends.


          Drinking days increased during the first months of the COVID‐19 pandemic, particularly among residents of states with lower disease burden.

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          Is Open Access

          Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

          Summary Background Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older. Methods Using 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use, we produced estimates of the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the distribution of alcohol consumption among current drinkers in standard drinks daily (defined as 10 g of pure ethyl alcohol), and alcohol-attributable deaths and DALYs. We made several methodological improvements compared with previous estimates: first, we adjusted alcohol sales estimates to take into account tourist and unrecorded consumption; second, we did a new meta-analysis of relative risks for 23 health outcomes associated with alcohol use; and third, we developed a new method to quantify the level of alcohol consumption that minimises the overall risk to individual health. Findings Globally, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and DALYs in 2016, accounting for 2·2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1·5–3·0) of age-standardised female deaths and 6·8% (5·8–8·0) of age-standardised male deaths. Among the population aged 15–49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3·8% (95% UI 3·2–4·3) of female deaths and 12·2% (10·8–13·6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. For the population aged 15–49 years, female attributable DALYs were 2·3% (95% UI 2·0–2·6) and male attributable DALYs were 8·9% (7·8–9·9). The three leading causes of attributable deaths in this age group were tuberculosis (1·4% [95% UI 1·0–1·7] of total deaths), road injuries (1·2% [0·7–1·9]), and self-harm (1·1% [0·6–1·5]). For populations aged 50 years and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016, constituting 27·1% (95% UI 21·2–33·3) of total alcohol-attributable female deaths and 18·9% (15·3–22·6) of male deaths. The level of alcohol consumption that minimised harm across health outcomes was zero (95% UI 0·0–0·8) standard drinks per week. Interpretation Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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            An ultra-brief screening scale for anxiety and depression: the PHQ-4.

            The most common mental disorders in both outpatient settings and the general population are depression and anxiety, which frequently coexist. Both of these disorders are associated with considerable disability. When the disorders co-occur, the disability is even greater. Authors sought to test an ultra-brief screening tool for both. Validated two-item ultra-brief screeners for depression and anxiety were combined to constitute the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (the PHQ-4). Data were analyzed from 2,149 patients drawn from 15 primary-care clinics in the United States. Factor analysis confirmed two discrete factors (Depression and Anxiety) that explained 84% of the total variance. Increasing PHQ-4 scores were strongly associated with functional impairment, disability days, and healthcare use. Anxiety had a substantial effect on functional status that was independent of depression. The PHQ-4 is a valid ultra-brief tool for detecting both anxiety and depressive disorders.
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              Psychological Outcomes Associated with Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Daily Life

              Highlights • Examined impact of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders on psychological outcomes. • Stay-at-home orders linked to health anxiety, financial worry, and loneliness. • Impact of COVID-19 on life associated with health anxiety and financial worry. • Impact of COVID-19 on life associated with less loneliness and more social support. • Results highlight importance of social connection and need for tele-mental health.

                Author and article information

                Alcohol Clin Exp Res
                Alcohol Clin Exp Res
                Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                03 March 2021
                [ 1 ] Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York NY USA
                [ 2 ] Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University Melbourne Vic. Australia
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence: Sarah McKetta, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W 168 St, New York, NY 10032; E‐mail: scm2170@ 123456columbia.edu

                © 2021 by the Research Society on Alcoholism

                This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Pages: 11, Words: 21106
                Funded by: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100000865;
                Funded by: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100000027;
                Award ID: R01‐AA026861
                Funded by: National Institute on Aging , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100000049;
                Award ID: U01AG054580
                Original Article
                Original Articles
                Custom metadata
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:6.0.1 mode:remove_FC converted:01.04.2021

                Health & Social care
                Health & Social care
                alcohol, sars‐cov‐2, trends


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