OBJECTIVE: To investigate cross-sectional associations between self-reported recent pain and alcohol use/abstinence, and previous-day pain and previous-week alcohol consumption in adults aged 50 + in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
METHODS: The WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1 (2007-2010) in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa is the data source. Prevalence of alcohol use/abstinence is reported by previous-day and previous-month pain. Multinomial logistic regressions (crude and adjusted for sex and country) tested associations between recent pain and alcohol use in the pooled multicountry sample.
RESULTS: Across the six SAGE countries, about one-third of respondents reported alcohol use, being highest in Russia (74%) and lowest in India (16%). Holding the effects of sex and country constant, compared with abstainers, people with previous-day pain were more likely to be previous-day or other users. With regard to the quantity and frequency of alcohol use, people with previous-day pain were more likely to be non-heavy drinkers.
CONCLUSION: Overall, we found that, in this population of older adults in six LMICs, recent pain was associated with moderate use of alcohol, although there were differences between countries. The findings provide a platform for country-specific research to better understand bi-directional associations between pain and alcohol in older adults.
2016. Vol. 21, no 10