01 February 2017 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: To describe the volume and patterns of alcohol consumption up to and including 2012, and to estimate the burden of disease attributable to alcohol consumption as measured in deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost in the Americas in 2012.

METHODS: Measures of alcohol consumption were obtained from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (GISAH). The burden of alcohol consumption was estimated in both deaths and DALYs lost based on mortality data obtained from WHO, using alcohol-attributable fractions. Regional groupings for the Americas were based on the WHO classifications for 2004 (according to child and adult mortality).

RESULTS: Regional variations were observed in the overall volume of alcohol consumed, the proportion of the alcohol market attributable to unrecorded alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, prevalence of drinking, and prevalence of heavy episodic drinking, with inhabitants of the Americas consuming more alcohol (8.4 L of pure alcohol per adult in 2012) compared to the world average. The Americas also experienced a high burden of disease attributable to alcohol consumption (4.7% of all deaths and 6.7% of all DALYs lost), especially in terms of injuries attributable to alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol is consumed in a harmful manner in the Americas, leading to a high burden of disease, especially in terms of injuries. New cost-effective alcohol policies, such as increasing alcohol taxation, increasing the minimum legal age to purchase alcohol, and decreasing the maximum legal blood alcohol content while driving, should be implemented to decrease the harmful consumption of alcohol and the resulting burden of disease.

01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

This study aims (1) to describe the context of drinking among adolescents with acute alcohol intoxication (AAI) by gender, (2) to explore temporal changes in the context of drinking and (3) to analyse the association between the context of drinking and blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A retrospective chart review of 12- to 17-year-old inpatients with AAI (n = 1441) of the years 2000 to 2006 has been conducted in five participating hospitals in Germany. Gender differences in the context of drinking were tested with t test and chi2 test. Differences over time were analysed using logistic regressions. Multivariate linear regression was used to predict BAC. Girls and boys differed in admission time, drinking situation, drinking occasion and admission context. No temporal changes in drinking situation and in admission to hospital from public locations or places were found. Higher BAC coincided with male gender and age. Moreover, BAC was higher among patients admitted to hospital from public places and lower among patients who drank for coping. CONCLUSION: The results suggest gender differences in the context of drinking. The context of drinking needs to be considered in the development and implementation of target group-specific prevention and intervention measures. What is known: * The context of drinking, e.g. when, where, why and with whom is associated with episodic heavy drinking among adolescents. What is new: * Male and female inpatients with acute alcohol intoxication differ with regards to the context of drinking, i.e. in admission time, drinking situation, drinking occasion and admission context. * Being admitted to hospital from public places is associated with higher blood alcohol concentration.

01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

This study examined cross-national similarities in a developmental model linking early age of alcohol use onset to frequent drinking and heavy drinking and alcohol problems 1 and 2 years later in a binational sample of 13-year-old students from two states: Washington State, USA and Victoria, Australia (N = 1833). A range of individual, family, school, and peer influences was included in analyses to investigate their unique and shared contribution to development of early and more serious forms of alcohol use and harms from misuse. Data were collected annually over a 3-year period from ages 13 to 15. Analyses were conducted using multiple-group structural equation modeling. For both states, early use of alcohol predicted frequent drinking, which predicted alcohol problems. Family protective influences had neither direct effects on heavy drinking nor effects on alcohol harm in either state, whereas school protection directly reduced the risk of heavy drinking in both states. Exposure to antisocial peers and siblings predicted a higher likelihood of heavy drinking and alcohol harm for students in both Washington and Victoria. Implications for the prevention of adolescent alcohol problems are discussed.

15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIM: To systematically review evidence on the influence of specific marketing components (Price, Promotion, Product attributes and Place of sale/availability) on key drinking outcomes (initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity) in young people aged 9-17.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, PsychINFO, CINAHL and ProQuest were searched from inception to July 2015, supplemented with searches of Google Scholar, hand searches of key journals and backward and forward citation searches of reference lists of identified papers.

RESULTS: Forty-eight papers covering 35 unique studies met inclusion criteria. Authors tended to report that greater exposure to alcohol marketing impacted on drinking initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity during adolescence. Nevertheless, 23 (66%) studies reported null results or negative associations, often in combination with positive associations, resulting in mixed findings within and across studies. Heterogeneity in study design, content and outcomes prevented estimation of effect sizes or exploration of variation between countries or age subgroups. The strength of the evidence base differed according to type of marketing exposure and drinking outcome studied, with support for an association between alcohol promotion (mainly advertising) and drinking outcomes in adolescence, whilst only two studies examined the relationship between alcohol price and the drinking behaviour of those under the age of 18.

CONCLUSION: Despite the volume of work, evidence is inconclusive in all four areas of marketing but strongest for promotional activity. Future research with standardized measures is needed to build on this work and better inform interventions and policy responses.

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