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Braithwaite RS, Fang Y, Tate J, Mentor SM, Bryant KJ, Fiellin DA, Justice AC. Do Alcohol Misuse, Smoking, and Depression Vary Concordantly or Sequentially? A Longitudinal Study of HIV-Infected and Matched Uninfected Veterans in Care. AIDS and behavior. 2016 Mar 1; 20(3):566-72.
We analyzed temporal patterns of alcohol misuse, smoking, and depression among veterans in care to determine whether these conditions vary concordantly or sequentially. Using the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, harmful alcohol use (AUDIT-C = 4), current smoking, and depression (PHQ-9 = 8), were measured. In regression analyses, predictors included each outcome condition at baseline, the other two conditions in the same survey, the other two conditions in the immediately preceding survey, number of years since enrollment, and HIV status. We found that current smoking and depression were more common among HIV infected individuals. Harmful alcohol use was more common among uninfected individuals. Temporal analyses suggested a concurrent pattern: each condition was associated with the other two conditions (p < 0.03, OR 1.12-1.66) as well as with the prior presence of the same condition (p < 0.0001; OR 6.38-22.02). Smoking was associated with prior depression after controlling for current depression (OR 1.16; p = 0.003). In conclusion, alcohol misuse, smoking, and depression were temporally concordant and persistent, raising the question of whether they constitute a common syndrome in HIV infected patients and others with chronic diseases.