Daily alcohol use was found to have a reciprocal relationship with greater daily pain in older adults with HIV, according to a study published in Alcohol.
Researchers conducted this exploratory study to evaluate the common daily drivers of substance use, pain, and relief from pain in adults with HIV ≥50 years of age. A total of 55 participants (average age, 55 years) enrolled in a randomized controlled trial were asked to complete 7 consecutive days of daily ecological momentary assessment online surveys.
Daily rating of worst pain but not presence of any pain in the previous 24 hours, was found to be associated with alcohol use: for every additional unit increase of worse pain beyond a participant’s mean pain value, alcohol use increased by a quarter of a drink.
Study limitations include a small sample size.
“Investigation of daily factors that drive pain and substance use behaviors among this unique population help inform which daily factors are most risky to their health and well-being,” the researchers noted. “Alcohol use emerged as the only substance associated with both driving pain and responding to pain.”