Sex-specific association of depressive disorder and transient emotional states with alcohol consumption in male and female alcoholics

Victor M. Karpyak, Jennifer R. Geske, Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, Larissa L. Loukianova, Terry D. Schneekloth, Michelle K. Skime, Marvin Seppala, George Dawson, Mark A. Frye, Doo Sup Choi, Joanna M. Biernacka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: We assessed the impact of comorbid depression and anxiety disorders as well as positive and negative emotional states on alcohol consumption in alcohol dependent men and women. Methods: Per day alcohol consumption during 90 days before enrolment was assessed by the Time Line Follow Back (TLFB) in 287 men and 156 women meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for alcohol dependence. Propensity to drink in negative/positive emotional states was assessed using the Inventory of Drug Taking Situations (IDTS). Psychiatric comorbidities, including major depressive disorder (MDD), substance-induced depression (SID), anxiety disorders (AnxD), or substance-induced anxiety (SIA) were identified by Psychiatric Research Interview of Substance and Mood Disorders (PRISM). Results: In the combined group, increased number of drinks per day and number of heavy drinking days correlated with increased IDTS scores (all p < 0.0001), while the lifetime history of MDD was associated with fewer drinking days (p = 0.045) but not average number of drinks per day. Male sex was associated with higher alcohol consumption per day (p < 0.0001), but not with the number of drinking days (p > 0.05). Lifetime MDD history was associated with less drinking days (p = 0.0084) and less heavy drinking days (p = 0.021) in alcohol dependent men, while current MDD was associated with higher alcohol use per day in alcohol dependent women (p = 0.044). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that emotional states and lifetime MDD history have sex-specific impact on alcohol use in alcohol dependent men and women. The mechanisms underlying these findings and their relevance to treatment outcomes need to be examined in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Craving
  • Depression
  • Sex-related differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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