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Article

Alcohol Use and Mental Health among Older American Adults during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Catherine Hennessy and Elaine Douglas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084222
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 9 April 2021 / Accepted: 12 April 2021 / Published: 16 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Well-Being of Older People in an Era of COVID-19)
Poor mental health associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may prompt the utilization of various coping behaviors, including alcohol use. We aimed to investigate the relationships between mental health symptomatology and self-reported changes in alcohol consumption at the onset of the pandemic. Data were from the nationwide COVID-19 Coping Study of US adults aged ≥55 in April and May 2020 (n = 6548). We used population-weighted multivariable-adjusted multi-nomial logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for the associations between mental health (of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, each) and self-reported increased alcohol consumption (vs. no change in consumption). One in ten adults (717/6548; 11%) reported an increase in their alcohol consumption in the past week compared to their usual pre-COVID-19 drinking. Mental health symptomatology was associated with increased drinking since the pandemic onset (depression: OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.99–3.56; anxiety: OR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.34–2.42; loneliness: OR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.83–3.28). Participants who screened positive for all three mental health outcomes were substantially more likely to report increased alcohol consumption since the onset of the pandemic (OR = 3.87, 95% CI: 2.52–5.96, vs. no mental health outcomes). This study demonstrates potentially harmful changes in alcohol intake among middle-to-older aged adults experiencing mental health symptomatology during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: older adults; alcohol use; COVID-19; mental health older adults; alcohol use; COVID-19; mental health
MDPI and ACS Style

Eastman, M.R.; Finlay, J.M.; Kobayashi, L.C. Alcohol Use and Mental Health among Older American Adults during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084222

AMA Style

Eastman MR, Finlay JM, Kobayashi LC. Alcohol Use and Mental Health among Older American Adults during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084222

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eastman, Marisa R., Jessica M. Finlay, and Lindsay C. Kobayashi. 2021. "Alcohol Use and Mental Health among Older American Adults during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4222. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084222

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