2016 Issues   /   October 2016

Study Links Depression, Substance Abuse in Veterans

By U.S. Medicine

NEW YORK—What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?

That was the question addressed recently in the journal AIDS and Behavior.1

New York University School of Medicine-led researchers employed the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to measure depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use, including stimulants, marijuana, heroin and opioids. The study team evaluated which conditions tended to co-occur within individuals, and how co-occurrence was temporally structured (i.e. concurrently, sequentially or discordantly).

Results indicate that current depression was associated with current use of every substance examined, with the exception of unhealthy alcohol use. Current unhealthy alcohol use and marijuana use also were consistently associated.

The study reports that current status was strongly predicted by prior status, with an odds ratio of 2.99, but that there were few other sequential relationships.

Associations in the HIV infected and uninfected subgroups were largely the same with some exceptions: Smoking preceded unhealthy alcohol use, and current smoking was associated with current depression in the HIV-infected subgroup only, with an OR 1.33-1.41 and OR 1.25-1.43, respectively.

Opioid use and current unhealthy alcohol use were negatively associated only in the HIV negative subgroup, OR 0.75.

“Patterns of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use, and other substance use were temporally concordant, particularly with regard to depression and substance use,” the study authors concluded. “These patterns may inform future development of more integrated screening and treatment strategies.”

1 Ruggles KV, Fang Y, Tate J, Mentor SM, et. al. What are the Patterns Between Depression, Smoking, Unhealthy Alcohol Use, and Other Substance Use Among Individuals Receiving Medical Care? A Longitudinal Study of 5479 Participants. AIDS Behav. 2016 Jul 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27475945.

 


Related Articles

Shulkin Ousted, White House Physician Nominated for VA Secretary

WASHINGTON — After several weeks of speculation regarding his future in the Trump Administration, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD’s tenure came to an abrupt end on March 28.

Congress Seeks More Oversight of VA EHR Program

WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system. The VA announced last year that it would adopt the same Cerner... View Article


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Shulkin Ousted, White House Physician Nominated for VA Secretary

WASHINGTON — After several weeks of speculation regarding his future in the Trump Administration, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD’s tenure came to an abrupt end on March 28.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress Seeks More Oversight of VA EHR Program

BRONX, NY — For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), living more than 30 miles from their nephrologist is associated with many unfavorable outcomes. They have lower rates of clinic visit adherence, more limited access... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress, VSOs Have Wait-and- See Position on Jackson Nomination

BRONX, NY — For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), living more than 30 miles from their nephrologist is associated with many unfavorable outcomes. They have lower rates of clinic visit adherence, more limited access... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Vows to Meet Deadline for Revamp of Veteran Claims Appeal Process

BRONX, NY — For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), living more than 30 miles from their nephrologist is associated with many unfavorable outcomes. They have lower rates of clinic visit adherence, more limited access... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Vets With Respiratory Disease More Responsive to ‘Quit’ Programs

BRONX, NY — For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), living more than 30 miles from their nephrologist is associated with many unfavorable outcomes. They have lower rates of clinic visit adherence, more limited access... View Article

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up