Purpose: To investigate the incidence and cumulative risk of first onset alcohol use disorder (AUD) in a 16-year follow-up among Taiwanese aboriginal populations. Methods: Participants included in this study were cohort subjects free from any AUD at phase 1 survey (n = 428 for DSM-3-R and 451 for DSM-4) of the Taiwan aboriginal study project conducted in 1986-1988. They were reassessed approximately 16 years later, with a response rate of 98.8 %. A Chinese version of the WHO schedules for clinical assessment in neuropsychiatry was employed to assess the lifetime drinking history and AUD. Results: Age-standardized annual incidence rates of AUD in all groups were 2.26 and 1.75 % according to DSM-3-R and DSM-4, respectively. The overall incidence rates of AUD were comparable to most of other studies in Caucasian populations, but the sex ratios of women to men were higher in this study (1:2-3) than in the latter (1:6). The incidence of AUD was higher with DSM-3-R than with DSM-4 criteria in this study, attributable to the exclusion of physical/psychological harm in DSM-4 alcohol abuse. The cumulative risks of DSM-4 AUD in this study were very high, being 72.2 ± 19.8 for men and 48.7 ± 8.2 for women up to the age of 65 years. Conclusions: High incidence rates and cumulative risks of AUD in Taiwanese aborigines demand effective prevention strategy.
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