This longitudinal study of 8,562 Swedish married couples (men and women) with no prior history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and one spouse developing AUD during marriage was compared to another group of 4,891 couples with multiple marriages whose first spouse did not have AUD but developed AUD during the second marriage or vice versa (still following along?). The authors found that women were 14 times more likely to develop AUD immediately after their spouse is diagnosed. By contrast, men were 9 times more likely to develop AUD immediately after their spouse was diagnosed. When married to someone with AUD then transitioning to a second marriage with someone without AUD, the risk decreases by half. When married to someone with AUD then transitioning to a second marriage with someone with AUD, the risk increases by 7-9x. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This study shows the effect of social interaction on development of alcohol use disorder and alcoholism. As important as it is for clinicians to ask about family history, they should also ask about drinking habits of those close to them.