Objective: To understand patterns of alcohol consumption and baseline factors associated with favorable drinking patterns among HIV-infected patients.
Methods: We studied drinking patterns among HIV-infected patients with current or past alcohol problems. We assessed drinking status in 6-month intervals. Based on National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines a favorable drinking pattern was defined as not drinking risky amounts at each assessment or decreased drinking over time. All other patterns were defined as unfavorable. Logistic regression models were used to identify baseline factors associated with a favorable pattern.
Results: Among 358 subjects, 54% had a favorable drinking pattern with 44% not drinking risky amounts at every assessment, and 11% decreasing consumption over time. Of the 46% with an unfavorable pattern, 4% drank risky amounts each time, 5% increased, and 37% both decreased and increased consumption over time. Current alcohol dependence and recent marijuana use were negatively associated with a favorable pattern, while older age and female gender, and having a primary HIV risk factor of injection drug use were positively associated with a favorable pattern.
Conclusion: Many HIV-infected adults with alcohol problems have favorable drinking patterns over time, and alcohol consumption patterns are not necessarily constant. Identifying HIV-infected adults with a pattern of risky drinking may require repeated assessments of alcohol consumption.
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