Prevalence and Correlates of Caffeine Use Disorder Symptoms Among a United States Sample

J Caffeine Adenosine Res. 2020 Mar 1;10(1):4-11. doi: 10.1089/caff.2019.0020. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


Background: The DSM-5 recognizes caffeine use disorder as a condition for further study, but there is a need to better understand its prevalence and clinical significance among the general population. Methods: A survey was conducted among an online sample of 1006 caffeine-consuming adults using demographic quotas to reflect the U.S. population. Caffeine consumption, DSM-proposed criteria for caffeine use disorder, sleep, substance use, and psychological distress were assessed. Results: Eight percent of the sample fulfilled DSM-proposed criteria for caffeine use disorder. These individuals consumed more caffeine, were younger, and were more likely to be cigarette smokers. Fulfilling caffeine use disorder criteria was associated with caffeine-related functional impairment, poorer sleep, some substance use, as well as greater depression, anxiety, and stress. Conclusions: The prevalence of caffeine use disorder among the present sample suggests that the proposed diagnostic criteria would identify only a modest percentage of the general population, and that identified individuals experience significant caffeine-related distress.

Keywords: anxiety; caffeine dependence; caffeine use disorder; caffeine withdrawal; sleep; tobacco.