Overall The continuation of the Alcohol Research Group's (ARG) National Alcohol Research Center, Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems: Alcohol-related Disparities, brings increased focus to the NIH's priority area of disparities in health, mental health and social problems. The Center, building on its groundbreaking conceptual and methodological contributions for over 40 years, studies the complex interactions between drinking patterns across the life-course, demographic characteristics, sociocultural and drinking contexts, community and policy factors, and problem outcomes, both in the general population and with attention to high-risk subgroups. Recognizing the importance of disparities in alcohol use patterns, problems and health outcomes, and the significant gaps in the knowledge base in this area despite our past contributions, we continue to focus on disparities in the 2021-25 Center, organized around four research projects: the National Alcohol Surveys (NAS) Project 1 that would allow continued implementation of our NAS, which is a repeated, cross-sectional, national epidemiological survey with large oversamples of Blacks and Latinos and individually-linked geo- referenced area measures, conducted with comparable measurement every 5 years and facilitating disparities analyses focused on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic groups; the Health Disparities Project 2 addressing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in alcohol-related injuries, diabetes and heart-related outcomes; the Alcohol Services Project 3 on the quality of and disparities in alcohol-related care received and how this may be changing with health reform; and the High-Intensity Drinking (HID) Project 4 involving trends in HID, analyses of the characteristics of events where 8+/12+ drinks are consumed, characterization and classification of the individuals that drink at these levels and the problems they experience. Supporting these projects are the Administrative Core, facilitating Center integration, synergy and success, training, dissemination and collaborations, and one scientific Core: the Statistical and Data Services (SDS) Core, which brings together analytic expertise, experienced data management skills and training for ARG scientists and research staff. These Cores and Projects illustrate a rich diversity of approaches and compelling public health questions, and stand to inform future research in the disparities arena with conceptual, measurement and analytical innovations.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed Center provides resources, training, data and statistical expertise for the study of alcohol-related health, mental health and social problem disparities in the US arising from differences between racial/ethnic and socioeconomic group and sexual identity and rurality. Research projects will provide insights in to the drinking of those with alcohol-related health conditions, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in alcohol-related problems, the role of inflammation in associations between alcohol use and mental health issues, disparities in access and utilization of screening for alcohol problems, use of pharmacotherapy and treatment completion, co- use of alcohol and other drugs, and events involving high-intensity drinking and drinkers who participate in them. Knowledge gained will further understanding of alcohol-related disparities and will strengthen the design, implementation and targeting of interventions to address these.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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Bloss, Gregory
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Public Health Institute
United States
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