Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1217–1226 | Cite as

The association of alcohol use and quality of life in depressed and non-depressed individuals: a cross-sectional general population study

  • Jonna LevolaEmail author
  • Tuuli Pitkänen
  • Olli Kampman
  • Mauri Aalto



To compare the associations of alcohol-related variables with Quality of Life (QoL) in depressed and non-depressed individuals of the general population.


This cross-sectional study utilized data from the FINRISK 2007 general population survey. A subsample (n = 4020) was invited to participate in an interview concerning alcohol use. Of them, 2215 (1028 men, 1187 women; response rate 55.1%) were included in the analyses. Bivariate associations between mean weekly alcohol consumption, frequency of binge drinking, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)-score and QoL were analysed according to categorization into depressed and non-depressed using the Beck Depression Inventory, Short Form. Linear regression models were calculated in order to determine the associations of the alcohol variables and QoL after adjusting for socio-demographic variables as well as somatic and mental illness.


Depressed individuals had lower mean QoL and higher AUDIT-scores than non-depressed respondents. Bivariate correlations showed that mean weekly alcohol consumption, frequency of binge drinking and AUDIT-scores were statistically significantly associated with impaired QoL in depressed individuals. Abstinence was not associated with QoL. After adjustment for covariates, frequency of binge drinking and AUDIT-score were statistically significantly associated with QoL in depressed individuals and AUDIT-score in the non-depressed group. When analysing all respondents regardless of depression, both AUDIT-score and binge drinking were associated with QoL.


Of the alcohol-related variables, binge drinking and alcohol problems indicated by AUDIT-score contributed to impaired QoL in depressed individuals and both should be assessed as part of the clinical management of depression.


Binge drinking Depression Quality of life Heavy drinking Alcohol problems 



The funding was provided by the Finnish Psychiatric Association and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Hyvinkää Hospital AreaHospital District of Helsinki and UusimaaHyvinkääFinland
  2. 2.Alcohol, Drugs and Addictions Unit, Department of Public Health SolutionsNational Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine and Life SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  4. 4.Development and Research UnitA-Clinic FoundationHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryHospital District of South OstrobothniaSeinäjokiFinland
  6. 6.JMT Psychiatry ClinicJärvenpääFinland

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