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dc.contributor.authorLiang, Wenbin
dc.contributor.authorChikritzhs, Tanya
dc.identifier.citationLiang, Wenbin and Chikritzhs, Tanya. 2013. The association between alcohol exposure and self-reported health status: The effect of separating former and current drinkers. PLoS ONE. 8 (2): pp. e55881.

Aims: To investigate the direction and degree of potential bias introduced to analyses of drinking and health status which exclude former drinkers from exposure groups. Design: Pooled analysis of 14 waves (1997–2010) of the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Setting: General population-based study. Participants: 404,462 participants, from 14 waves of the NHIS, who had known self-reported health status and alcohol consumption status. Measurements: Self-reported health status was used as the indicator of health. Two approaches were used to classify alcohol consumption: (i) separation of former drinkers and current drinkers, and (ii) combined former and current drinkers. The prevalence of fair/ poor health by alcohol use, gender and age with 95% confidence intervals was estimated. The difference in prevalence of fair/ poor health status for lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, current drinkers and drinkers (former drinkers and current drinkers combined) were compared using Poisson regression with robust estimations of variance. Findings: Excluding former drinkers from drinker groups exaggerates the difference in health status between abstainers and drinkers, especially for males. Conclusions: In cohort study analyses, former drinkers should be assigned to a drinking category based on their previous alcohol consumption patterns and not treated as a discrete exposure group.

dc.publisherPublic Library of Science
dc.titleThe association between alcohol exposure and self-reported health status: The effect of separating former and current drinkers
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titlePLoS ONE

This article is published under the Open Access publishing model and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License Please refer to the licence to obtain terms for any further reuse or distribution of this work.

curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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