Although Spanish adolescents recognize that reiterative alcohol abusehas negative consequences over consumers and society in general,the percentages of teenagers who get drunk during the weekendskeep alarming high.Young people are exposed to a wide range of messages aboutthe externalities related to alcohol consumption whose connotationand importance are divergent. Our main goal is to analyze whichchannels are the most effective to reduce alcohol abuse. To that end,we focus on a theoretical framework which combines the forming ofrisk perceptions with the decision of consuming alcoholic beverages.We focus on young people because alcohol consumptionpatterns consolidate in adolescence and adolescents are also highlysensitive to peerpressure, and in general, to social forces.

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 09:04

The puzzle of Italian drinking

During the recent decades, a significant process of change in alcohol consumption patterns is currently ongoing in Italy. This is especially obvious in the decreased wine consumption during the last 40 years, which parallels the decrease in deaths from liver cirrhosis. The drinking patterns of younger people have also changed during the last two decades, even if traditional values and practices are still retained. There is no evidence to suggest that planned public health policies had any substantial impact on these changes.

BACKGROUND: Binge drinking is a constant problem behavior in adolescents across Europe. Epidemiological investigations have been reported. However, epidemiological data on alcohol consumption of adolescents with different migration backgrounds are rare. Furthermore representative data on rural-urban comparison concerning alcohol consumption and binge drinking are lacking. The aims of the study are the investigation of alcohol consumption patterns with respect to a) urban-rural differences and b) differences according to migration background.

METHODS: In the years 2007/2008, a representative written survey of N = 44,610 students in the 9th. grade of different school types in Germany was carried out (net sample). The return rate of questionnaires was 88 % regarding all students whose teachers respectively school directors had agreed to participate in the study. Weighting factors were specified and used to make up for regional and school-type specific differences in return rates. 27.4 % of the adolescents surveyed have a migration background, whereby the Turkish culture is the largest group followed by adolescents who emigrated from former Soviet Union states. The sample includes seven large cities (over 500,000 inhabitants) (12.2 %), independent smaller cities ("urban districts") (19.0 %) and rural areas ("rural districts") (68.8 %).

RESULTS: Life-time prevalence for alcohol consumption differs significantly between rural (93.7 %) and urban areas (86.6 % large cities; 89.1 % smaller cities) with a higher prevalence in rural areas. The same accounts for 12-month prevalence for alcohol consumption. 57.3 % of the rural, respectively 45.9 % of the urban adolescents engaged in binge drinking in the 4 weeks prior to the survey. Students with migration background of the former Soviet Union showed mainly drinking behavior similar to that of German adolescents. Adolescents with Turkish roots had engaged in binge drinking in the last four weeks less frequently than adolescents of German descent (23.6 % vs. 57.4 %). However, in those adolescents who consumed alcohol in the last 4 weeks, binge drinking is very prominent across the cultural backgrounds.

CONCLUSIONS: Binge drinking is a common problem behavior in German adolescents. Obviously adolescents with rural residence have fewer alternatives for engaging in interesting leisure activities than adolescents living in cities. This might be one reason for the more problematic consumption patterns there. Common expectations concerning drinking behavior of adolescents of certain cultural backgrounds ('migrants with Russian background drink more'/ 'migrants from Arabic respectively Oriental-Islamic countries drink less') are only partly affirmed. Possibly, the degree of acculturation to the permissive German alcohol culture plays a role here.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the prevalence and risk factors of alcohol problems among older people (especially those aged 75 years and more). The aims of this study were to report alcohol consumption patterns and to determine their association with socio-demographic variables and health characteristics. METHOD: 3224 non-demented subjects aged 75 and over and attending general practitioners (GPs) (n = 138) in an urban area of Germany were studied by structured clinical interviews including detailed assessment of alcohol consumption patterns distinguishing between abstainers, moderate drinkers and at-risk drinkers (>20 g of alcohol for women and >30 g of alcohol for men). RESULTS: A high proportion (50.1%) of the sample were abstainers, 43.4% were moderate drinkers. The prevalence of at-risk alcohol consumption was 6.5% (95% CI 5.6-7.4). Rates were significantly higher for men (12.1%; 95% CI 10.2-14.0) compared to women (3.6%; 95% CI 2.8-4.4). After full adjustment for confounding variables we found that compared to moderate drinking abstaining from alcohol was significantly associated with female gender, lower education, and mobility impairment. Compared to moderate drinking at-risk drinking was significantly higher among men, individuals with a liver disease, and current smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Multivariate analysis revealed that, apart from liver disease, at-risk drinking in a non-demented population aged 75 and over was associated with relatively good physical and mental health. Nevertheless, public prevention measures should focus on at-risk drinkers to make them aware of potential risks of high alcohol consumption in old age.

 

 

 

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.