Addiction. 2023 Sep 27. doi: 10.1111/add.16343. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: To measure the independent consequences of community-level armed conflict beatings on alcohol use disorders (AUD) among males in Nepal during and after the 2000-2006 conflict.
DESIGN: A population-representative panel study from Nepal, with precise measures of community-level violent events and subsequent individual-level AUD in males. Females were not included because of low AUD prevalence.
SETTING: Chitwan, Nepal.
PARTICIPANTS: Four thousand eight hundred seventy-six males from 151 neighborhoods, systematically selected and representative of Western Chitwan. All residents aged 15-59 were eligible (response rate 93%).
MEASUREMENTS: Measures of beatings in the community during the conflict (2000-2006), including the date and distance away, were gathered through neighborhood reports, geo-location and official resources, then linked to respondents’ life histories of AUD (collected in 2016-2018) using the Nepal-specific Composite International Diagnostic Interview with life history calendar. Beatings nearby predict the subsequent onset of AUD during and after the armed conflict. Data were analyzed in 2021-2022.
FINDINGS: Cohort-specific, discrete-time models revealed that within the youngest cohort (born 1992-2001), those living in neighborhoods where armed conflict beatings occurred were more likely to develop AUD compared with those in other neighborhoods (odds ratio = 1.66; 95% confidence interval = 1.02-2.71). In this cohort, a multilevel matching analysis designed to simulate a randomized trial showed the post-conflict incidence of AUD for those living in neighborhoods with any armed conflict beatings was 9.5% compared with 5.3% in the matched sample with no beatings.
CONCLUSIONS: Among male children living in Chitwan, Nepal during the 2000-2006 armed conflict, living in a neighborhood where armed conflict beatings occurred is associated with increased odds of developing subsequent alcohol use disorder. This association was independent of personal exposure to beatings and other mental disorders.