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Alcohol Consumption across the Life-course: Determinants and Consequences (ALCOHOLLIFECOURSE)
Start date: Jan 1, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The epidemiology of alcohol use and related health consequences plays a vital role by monitoring populations’ alcohol consumption patterns and problems associated with drinking. Such studies seek to explain mechanisms linking consumption to harm and ultimately to reduce the health burden. Research needs to consider changes in drinking behaviour over the life-course. The current evidence base lacks the consideration of the complexity of lifetime consumption patterns, the predictors of change and subsequent health risks.Aims of the study1. To describe age-related trajectories of drinking in different settings and to determine the extent to which individual and social contextual factors, including socioeconomic position, social networks and life events influence drinking pattern trajectories.2. To estimate the impact of drinking trajectories on physical functioning and disease and to disentangle the exposure-outcome associations in terms of a) timing, i.e. health effect of drinking patterns in early, mid and late life; and b) duration, i.e. whether the impact of drinking accumulates over time.3. To test the bidirectional associations between health and changes in consumption over the life-course in order to estimate the relative importance of these effects and to determine the dominant temporal direction.4. To explore mechanisms and pathways through which drinking trajectories affect health and functioning in later life and to examine the role played by potential effect modifiers of the association between drinking and poor health.Several large, longitudinal cohort studies from European countries with repeated measures of alcohol consumption will be combined and analysed to address the aims. A new team will be formed consisting of the PI, a Research Associate and two PhD students. Dissemination will be through journals, conferences, and culminating in a one-day workshop for academics, practitioners and policy makers in the alcohol field.

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