Background: Although prior studies have documented the co-occurrence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) disorder, there is a paucity of research assessing the patterns of alcohol involvement among individuals with GAD symptoms. This study investigated subtypes, or classes, of comorbid AUD and GAD symptoms, and assessed the association of class membership with health-related quality of life.
Methods: Using data from the Wave 1 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a latent class analysis was performed on the subset of individuals who were current drinkers and had reported ever experiencing a 6-month episode of feeling tense, nervous, or worried most of the time. We examined the association of these latent classes with physical and mental health-related quality of life measured by the Short Form-12, version 2.
Results: Latent class analysis identified a 5-class model of AUD and GAD symptoms. A significant graded relationship was observed between the ordered classes and severity of impairment on the mental health scale of the Short Form-12, version 2, but no significant relationship was found with the physical health scale.
Conclusions: Mental, but not physical, health-related quality of life in this population is associated with both the number and pattern of comorbid GAD and AUD symptoms.