Sardinia is an Italian island in the Mediterranean characterized by secular isolation and the singular genetic characteristics of its inhabitants. Findings obtained in populations with diverse genetic make-up and cultural background indicate gender differences and/or similarities in drinking characteristics of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Knowledge of these characteristics in AUD patients is useful to improve access to treatments. This paper investigated the drinking characteristics of 66 female and 282 male outpatients with AUD, born from 1937 to 1991, living in Sardinia, and compared their characteristics with those of AUD patients living in other countries. Most Sardinian patients were men, approximately 3 years younger than women; women consumed lower amounts of alcohol than men but did not differ from men in the severity of AUD. Men were more often single than women, while a higher proportion of women reported that their mother or spouse was affected by AUD. Anxiety and depression were more prevalent among women while a higher proportion of men were affected by substance use disorders. Women were older than men at the age of first drink, regular drinking, and onset of AUD, and progressed faster than men from regular use to AUD onset. Women did not differ from men in age at first request for care, and in the lapse from AUD onset to first request for care. Women and men waited for more than 8 and 9 years, respectively, before receiving medical treatment. Gender differences progressively decreased among younger patients. Although the scarce number of women in some cohorts limits the strength of these findings, drinking characteristics of Sardinian patients did not vary significantly from those of AUD patients living in other countries. These results suggest that the number of Sardinian women with AUD is increasing and services for treatment of AUD should (a) consider women’s specific needs, and (b) realize effective policies to reduce latency prior to accessing medical treatment for both men and women with AUD.

Gender Differences among Sardinians with Alcohol Use Disorder

Agabio R
;
Pisanu C;Minerba L;
2021

Abstract

Sardinia is an Italian island in the Mediterranean characterized by secular isolation and the singular genetic characteristics of its inhabitants. Findings obtained in populations with diverse genetic make-up and cultural background indicate gender differences and/or similarities in drinking characteristics of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Knowledge of these characteristics in AUD patients is useful to improve access to treatments. This paper investigated the drinking characteristics of 66 female and 282 male outpatients with AUD, born from 1937 to 1991, living in Sardinia, and compared their characteristics with those of AUD patients living in other countries. Most Sardinian patients were men, approximately 3 years younger than women; women consumed lower amounts of alcohol than men but did not differ from men in the severity of AUD. Men were more often single than women, while a higher proportion of women reported that their mother or spouse was affected by AUD. Anxiety and depression were more prevalent among women while a higher proportion of men were affected by substance use disorders. Women were older than men at the age of first drink, regular drinking, and onset of AUD, and progressed faster than men from regular use to AUD onset. Women did not differ from men in age at first request for care, and in the lapse from AUD onset to first request for care. Women and men waited for more than 8 and 9 years, respectively, before receiving medical treatment. Gender differences progressively decreased among younger patients. Although the scarce number of women in some cohorts limits the strength of these findings, drinking characteristics of Sardinian patients did not vary significantly from those of AUD patients living in other countries. These results suggest that the number of Sardinian women with AUD is increasing and services for treatment of AUD should (a) consider women’s specific needs, and (b) realize effective policies to reduce latency prior to accessing medical treatment for both men and women with AUD.
Alcohol use disorder; Gender differences; Sardinia; Birth cohort effects; Access to treatment; Women’s needs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/319787
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