Dr Laura Goodwin is a Senior Lecturer in the Epidemiology of Mental Health and Addiction and is Lead for the Addiction Research Group at the University of Liverpool. She is experienced in managing MRC, ESRC and charity funded projects as principal investigator. She is recognised for her work on the comorbidity of mental health and alcohol problems, with specific expertise in understanding the complexity of these issues in trauma exposed population, such as in military veterans. Laura has published more than 60 peer reviewed papers with a H-index of 19 and she performs external management roles, including as an Associate Editor at Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. She has a key role in the Liverpool Centre for Alcohol Research, in developing collaborations and in shaping policies relating to mental health and is an Affiliate Member of the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London.
Multimorbidity of physical health conditions and associations with co-occurring mental health and alcohol problems
Aims: There is strong evidence for the co-occurrence of mental health and alcohol problems, and individually both harmful drinking and mental health problems increase the risk of developing a wide range of physical non-communicable diseases. Yet the compounded physical health risk for patients with both problems is unknown. This study aims to identify clusters of physical multimorbidity and the associations with mental health and hazardous drinking categories.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (N=7543). Standardised measures of alcohol use and mental health were used (e.g. Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)) and participants self-reported physical health conditions since the age of 16. Latent class analysis analysed 12 included health conditions (e.g. cancer, diabetes) to identify clusters of multimorbidity. Multinomial logistic regressions investigated associations of these classes with the mental health and hazardous drinking (AUDIT 8+) categories.
Results: Five statistically distinct classes were identified: ‘Healthy’ (76.62%), ‘Relatively Healthy’ (3.12%), ‘Hypertension’ (14.28%), ‘Digestive and Bowel Problems’’ (3.17%), and ‘Complex Multimorbidity’ (2.80%). Having a mental health problem was associated with higher odds of ‘Digestive and Bowel Problems’ (multinomial odds ratio (MOR)=1.60; 95% confidence intervals (CI) [1.18-2.19]) and ‘Complex Multimorbidity’ (MOR=2.13; 95% CI [1.57-2.90]). Individuals with co-occurring mental health and hazardous drinking had approximately twice the odds of ‘Digestive and Bowel Problems’ (MOR=2.66; 95% CI [1.70-4.16]) and ‘Complex Multimorbidity’ (MOR=2.55; 95% CI [1.57-4.14]).
Conclusions: Individuals with co-occurring mental health and alcohol problems experience health inequalities which highlights the need for better integration of alcohol and mental health services.
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