225269 Longitudinal changes in mental health associated with increased tobacco and alcohol use in a displaced population

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tasha Stehling-Ariza, MPH , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Yoon Soo Park, MS , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Akilah Banister, MPH , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Research has shown that stress and mental health are often associated with alcohol use and smoking. However, long-term studies of this association in a displaced population are limited. This study investigates the changes in mental health (measured with the mental component summary (MCS) score of the SF-12) associated with increased smoking and alcohol use based on four waves of data collected from a longitudinal cohort study of 1,079 respondents displaced or greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina. Results showed nearly one-third of respondents reported using either tobacco or alcohol more than before the hurricane. Among current smokers, over half reported smoking more now than they did before Katrina; one quarter of respondents consuming any alcohol in the previous six months indicated they were drinking more. Results from the CAGE Assessment (Ewing, 1984) found one in ten current users may have an alcohol problem. Using a mixed-effects growth curve model controlling for housing stability, family structure, socioeconomic status, and location of residence, we found respondents that smoked more since Katrina had a mental health component (MCS) score 2.79 points lower than those that did not smoke more (p<0.05). MCS scores were 4.47 points lower for respondents that drank more compared to those that did not. A higher CAGE Assessment score significantly reduced MCS score an additional 0.70 points over time and drinking more since Katrina was associated with a further decrease in MCS score of 1.47 points over time.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences in MCS score associated with increased tobacco or alcohol use and problem drinking.

Keywords: Mental Health, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee all data collection and analysis conducted for this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.