Vital exhaustion and risk of alcohol use disorders: A prospective cohort study

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OBJECTIVE: Vital exhaustion is an emotional state characterized by fatigue and depressive symptoms. We examined the prospective association between vital exhaustion and risk of alcohol use disorders (AUD). Furthermore, we investigated whether cohabitation status modifies the effect of this potential association.

METHODS: Vital exhaustion was assessed by a condensed, 17 item, version of the Maastricht Questionnaire as part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study in 1991-93. The study population consisted of 8956 individuals aged 21-93 years, who were followed for a first-time diagnosis of AUD in national registers until 2016. The mean length of follow-up was 16.6 years.

RESULTS: During follow-up, AUD was diagnosed in 146 men and 103 women. For both sexes, the risk of AUD increased dose-dependently with increasing vital exhaustion. Individuals who reported high vital exhaustion had a 2- to 3-fold higher risk of AUD in both men (HR = 2.46, 95% CI: 1.40-4.29) and women (HR = 3.34, 95% CI: 1.62-6.85). A potential modifying effect of cohabitation status on the relation between vital exhaustion and AUD was found for men.

CONCLUSION: The results showed that vital exhaustion is significantly associated with a higher risk of AUD in both men and women and that living with a cohabitee may have a protective effect among men.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

ID: 209828829