(HealthDay News) – Prospective analysis of correlates of alcohol recovery compare favorably with pseudo-prospective studies with time-dependent covariates, but differ from cross-sectional analyses, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Deborah A. Dawson, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues compared correlates of recovery based on a three-year prospective study with correlates based on cross-sectional analyses of data from the same source. Data were collected from 1,172 participants of Wave 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (2001–2002 and 2004–2005, respectively).

The researchers found that abstinent recovery correlated with participation in a 12-step program within three years of baseline, having a child <1 year of age at baseline, attending at least weekly religious services, and Black/Asian/Hispanic race/ethnicity. Nonabstinent recovery was linked with smoking, having job problems or being unemployed, volume of alcohol intake, never being married, or having ended a first marriage within less than three years of baseline. Findings mainly supported results from previous pseudo-prospective survival analyses with time-dependent covariates, but differed from cross-sectional analyses of Wave 1 data.

“Various aspects of study design must be considered when interpreting correlates of recovery. Cross-sectional analyses of lifetime correlates of recovery are highly subject to misinterpretation, but pseudo-prospective survival analyses with time-dependent covariates may yield results as valid as those from prospective studies,” the authors write.

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