Monday, November 26, 2007

Alcoholism & Conduct Disorder Contribute To Having A High Number Of Sex Partners

Alcoholism & Conduct Disorder Contribute To Having A High Number Of Sex Partners

Previous studies have linked heavy drinking and conduct disorder to high-risk sexual behaviors that can, in turn, lead to unintended pregnancies, infection, and damage to reproductive health. A new study has linked the clinical diagnoses of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder among 18-to-25-year-olds to the risk of having a high number of sexual partners.

"Our study is the first of its kind to link problematic drinking and alcohol dependence with a high number of sex partners," said Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, research instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "We have moved beyond self-reports of heavy and/or frequent drinking to utilizing a clinical diagnosis of alcohol dependence in order to improve understanding of how alcohol use influences risky sexual behaviors."

"The relationship between risky sexual behavior and conduct disorder has been well documented, especially among young women," added Denise Hallfors, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. "What was not known was whether alcohol dependence and conduct disorder independently contribute to the number of sexual partners. Previous studies tended to look at either alcohol dependence and conduct disorder, or conduct disorder and sexual risk, or heavy drinking and sexual risk, but not at all three behaviors together."


Researchers gathered data through personal interviews from 601 unmarried relatives, 18 to 25 years of age, of alcohol-dependent individuals who participated in the Collaborative Study on The Genetics of Alcoholism. Variables examined included: problem drinking, alcohol dependence, conduct problems, conduct disorder, family status, educational attainment, gender, race, age at first intercourse, age at time of interview, and number of sexual partners.

"A significant number of participants with alcohol dependence, 45 percent, had 10 or more sexual partners," said Cavazos-Rehg. "Moreover, we categorized individuals into three levels of alcohol involvement -- non-dependent, problem drinking, alcohol dependent -- and demonstrated how a stepwise increase from non-dependence to problematic alcohol use to alcohol dependence was associated with a higher rate of sexual partners. We also found a risk for high number of sexual partners among persons with conduct disorder independent of level of alcohol involvement. In addition, individuals with co-occurring alcohol dependence and conduct disorder are at even greater risk of multiple sex partnerships."

"These young adults with alcohol dependence and conduct problems are likely to have many sexual partners," said Hallfors. "This suggests that they are not only at greater risk for STDs and HIV, but if infected, they are likely to infect many others."

Hallfors suggested that college campuses help address this problem. "Students are frequently referred to the campus health clinic for alcohol-related problems," she said. "Young adults who are running into problems because of their heavy drinking and who present for treatment should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and treated if infected. Furthermore, college health care staff could greatly improve care by asking about sexual risk behaviors and screening for STDs."

Hallfors also suggested two other possibilities for public-health intervention. "Young adults who present in emergency rooms for drinking-related injuries or illnesses could be screened for HIV and STDs," she said. "Similarly, a majority of prison inmates have been incarcerated for substance-abuse related crimes, including alcohol problems. Prison populations are known to have higher rates of STDs and HIV, but few prisons screen inmates at admission for these diseases. These data provide additional support for screening young adults in jail or prison for HIV and STDs."

"At the alcohol-treatment level, clients could be targeted by health professionals to receive education, screening, and treatment for STDs," added Cavazos-Rehg. "Furthermore, STD prevention programs and clinics can better understand the role of alcohol dependence and conduct disorder as part of a comprehensive strategy for reducing STD transmission."

Results are published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Co-authors of the ACER paper, "The Relationship between Alcohol Problems and Dependence, Conduct Problems and Diagnosis, and Number of Sex Partners in a Sample of Young Adults," were: Edward L. Spitznagel, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Karen Norberg, Wendy Reich and Laura Jean Bierut of Washington University in St. Louis; John Nurnberger, Jr. of Indiana University School of Medicine; Victor Hesselbrock of the University of Connecticut Health Center; and John Kramer and Sam Kuperman of the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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10 comments:

blinkers said...

Spam, surely -- you signed on yesterday, but dig back 100 days to vote for stories?

BronxBomber said...

He's trying to play it cool by being incognito, and resurface every now, and then so as to not get banned blinkers. I negged and reported him though.

spyguy said...

You're such a jerk pillza2

BronxBomber said...

Is pillza2 you're sock puppet wolfie2007?

BronxBomber said...

Is pillza2 you're sock puppet wolfie2007?

BronxBomber said...

Add wolfie to that jerk list just in case he's not.

BronxBomber said...

Higher numbers of sex partners? Geez! I should take up drinking then!

cowboygrandpa said...

BronxBomber: Worked for me when I was younger. I just wish I could remember their names and all we did. Its embarassing to run into a woman at a country western club. Have her talking to you and asking if you would like to do what you did the other night and not quite remember what you did. Must have done it right, but still would like to recall it. LOL. Since I got married and settled down I don't drink any more. In fact I quit drinking alcohol when I was 49. Didn't like what it was doing to me. Didn't damage the reproductive part though. Three grown daughters.

cowboygrandpa said...

drJK: Thanks for the story and heads up. On the serious side. When I was younger we didn't have AIDS. There were diseases but I was very fortunate. The women I ran with were pretty much after one guy. They just didn't realize this guy was after a lot of different women. I had just finished going thru one heck of a mind bending and altering experience. I wasn't ready to settle down. I needed to get wild and cut loose. Which I did. The alcohol made me forget until I sobered up again. So I just drank more to forget. That wasn't working after a while. I'd remember even when I was drunk. The poor ladies had no clue they were dealing with a wreck in the making. They kept trying to drink and party with me. I had about four clubs I made the rounds at. Depending upon where I ended up I always had friends to watch out for me. Someone would take my keys and I'd end up going home with some lady. Taught me a good lesson. Quit drinking and enjoy life. Wives are a good thing they keep you home. LOL

Endoscopy said...

This study when thought about is an attack of the obvious. There are a lot of songs about this type of thing. Those songs have a ring of truth to them. Thinking about people I have known it also rings true.

How come it is HIV and STD's? I thought HIV was an STD.