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Childhood adversities as specific contributors to the co-occurrence of posttraumatic stress and alcohol use disorders


Müller, Mario; Vandeleur, Caroline; Rodgers, Stephanie; Rössler, Wulf; Castelao, Enrique; Preisig, Martin; Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta (2015). Childhood adversities as specific contributors to the co-occurrence of posttraumatic stress and alcohol use disorders. Psychiatry Research, 228(3):251-256.

Abstract

There is much evidence that alcohol use disorders (AUD) often co-occur with posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), and that the comorbid condition is associated with a more severe clinical profile than that of PTSD without AUD. However, little is known about the role of childhood adversities as specific risk factors for the development of AUD in individuals presenting with PTSD. The aim of the study was to explore whether specific stressors from the spectrum of trauma and childhood adversities contribute to the development of AUD among subjects with PTSD. From a large community sample, of N=140 individuals with PTSD, N=24 (17.14%) received an additional diagnosis of AUD with an onset after the onset of PTSD. Those with comorbid PTSD/AUD and those with PTSD only were compared regarding type and features of their trauma, childhood adversities and psychiatric comorbidity. Compared to PTSD alone, PTSD/AUD was associated with higher levels of stress in terms of childhood adversities; in particular, sexual abuse below the age of 16, but also with having been brought up in a foster home. PTSD/AUD was also associated with an earlier age of adverse events. Treatment of AUD should include standardized assessments of trauma, especially of trauma experienced during childhood.

Abstract

There is much evidence that alcohol use disorders (AUD) often co-occur with posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), and that the comorbid condition is associated with a more severe clinical profile than that of PTSD without AUD. However, little is known about the role of childhood adversities as specific risk factors for the development of AUD in individuals presenting with PTSD. The aim of the study was to explore whether specific stressors from the spectrum of trauma and childhood adversities contribute to the development of AUD among subjects with PTSD. From a large community sample, of N=140 individuals with PTSD, N=24 (17.14%) received an additional diagnosis of AUD with an onset after the onset of PTSD. Those with comorbid PTSD/AUD and those with PTSD only were compared regarding type and features of their trauma, childhood adversities and psychiatric comorbidity. Compared to PTSD alone, PTSD/AUD was associated with higher levels of stress in terms of childhood adversities; in particular, sexual abuse below the age of 16, but also with having been brought up in a foster home. PTSD/AUD was also associated with an earlier age of adverse events. Treatment of AUD should include standardized assessments of trauma, especially of trauma experienced during childhood.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Alcohol use disorder; Childhood trauma and adversity; Comorbidity; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Sexual abuse
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:15 Dec 2015 10:49
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:41
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-1781
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.06.034
PubMed ID:26163721

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