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DSM-5 latent classes of alcohol users in a population-based sample: Results from the São Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey, Brazil
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Background: We aimed to identify different categorical phenotypes based upon the DSM-V criteria of alcohol use disorders (AUD) among alcohol users who had at least one drink per week in the past year (n = 948).
Methods: Data are from the São Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey collected in 2005–2007, as part of the World Mental Health Survey Initiative. A latent class analysis of the 11 DSM-5-AUD criteria was performed using Mplus, taking into account complex survey design features. Weighted logistic regression models were used to examine demographic correlates of the DSM-5-AUD latent classes.
Results: The best latent-class model was a three-class model. We found a “non-symptomatic class” (69.7%), a “use in larger amounts class” (23.2%), defined by high probability (>70%) of the “use in larger amounts” criterion only, and a “high-moderate symptomatic class” (7.1%), defined by high-moderate probability of all the 11 AUD criteria. Compared to those in the non-symptomatic class, individuals in the “high-moderate symptomatic class” were more likely to have been married, have lower educational attainment and to be unemployed or in non-regular/informal employment. Those on the “use in larger amounts class” were more likely to have been married or never married.
Conclusion: The two symptomatic classes clearly represented the dimensionality of the new proposed AUD criteria, and could be more specifically targeted by different prevention or treatment strategies. DSM-5-AUD has the advantage of shedding light on risky drinkers included in the “use in larger amounts class”, allowing for preventive interventions, which will reach a large number of individuals.