Alcohol Use Disorder Linked to Decreased 'Work Trajectory' in Study

The July Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looked into the relationship between work failure and drinking

According to a recent study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, workers with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are more likely to have a flat or declining “work trajectory,” the American College of Occupational Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) said in a statement.

John D. Meyer, MD, MPH, of Icahn-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and Miriam Mutambudze, PhD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, studied the relationship between occupation and AUDs in workers followed up from early adulthood to middle age. They focused primarily on the complexity of work and whether that was an indicator of individuals progressing in their careers in terms of factors such as decision latitude and expanded work abilities. This is known as the work trajectory.

The study found that AUDs were initially found in 15 percent of men and 7.5 percent of women based on factors such as drinking more than intended or unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking. Lower work trajectory was directly linked to a higher rate of AUDs, both initially and during follow-up.

Although men had higher AUD rates, the association between AUD and downward occupational trajectory appeared stronger in women. A higher education in men was strongly associated with lower AUD risk.

The study suggests the link between work trajectory and AUDs is a consequence rather than a predictor, but reinforcing nonetheless.

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