NCADD News Service

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What Causes Spouses to Resemble One Another In Their Risk for Alcohol Use Disorder?

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A population-based registry study, found that the increase in risk for a first onset of alcohol use disorder in a married individual after the onset of alcohol use disorder onset in his or her spouse was large and rapid.

When an individual was married in either order to serial partners with vs. without alcohol use disorder, the risk for alcohol use disorder was substantially increased when the partner had an alcohol use disorder registration and decreased when the partner did not have an alcohol use disorder registration.

What does this mean? A married individual’s risk for alcohol use disorder is likely directly and causally affected by the presence of alcohol use disorder in his or her spouse.

Although spouses strongly resemble one another in their risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the causes of this association remain unclear.

The study seems to conclude that the increase in risk for AUD registration in a married individual following a first AUD registration in the spouse is large and rapid.

When an individual with serial spouses is married, in either order, to partners with vs without an AUD registration, the risk for AUD registration is substantially increased when the partner has an AUD registration and decreased when the partner does not have an AUD registration. These results suggest that a married individual’s risk for AUD is directly and causally affected by the presence of AUD in his or her spouse.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

Original author: Ezra