23 September 2021 In Drinking Patterns

Alcohol use has been causally linked to more than 200 disease and injury conditions, as defined by three-digit ICD-10 codes. The understanding of how alcohol use is related to these conditions is essential to public health and policy research. Accordingly, this study presents a narrative review of different dose-response relationships for alcohol use. Relative-risk (RR) functions were obtained from various comparative risk assessments. Two main dimensions of alcohol consumption are used to assess disease and injury risk: (1) volume of consumption, and (2) patterns of drinking, operationalized via frequency of heavy drinking occasions. Lifetime abstention was used as the reference group. Most dose-response relationships between alcohol and outcomes are monotonic, but for diabetes type 2 and ischemic diseases, there are indications of a curvilinear relationship, where light to moderate drinking is associated with lower risk compared with not drinking (i.e., RR < 1). In general, women experience a greater increase in RR per gram of alcohol consumed than men. The RR per gram of alcohol consumed was lower for people of older ages. RRs indicated that alcohol use may interact synergistically with other risk factors, in particular with socioeconomic status and other behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or physical inactivity. The literature on the impact of genetic constitution on dose-response curves is underdeveloped, but certain genetic variants are linked to an increased RR per gram of alcohol consumed for some diseases. When developing alcohol policy measures, including low-risk drinking guidelines, dose-response relationships must be taken into consideration.

23 September 2021 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: This paper aimed to explore the differences in subjective experiences of intoxication depending on drinking location and drink type.

METHODS: Data came from 32,194 respondents to The Global Drug Survey (GDS) 2015, an annual, cross-sectional, online survey. Respondents selected their usual drinking location (home alone: home with partner/family: house parties: pubs/bars or clubs) and usual drink (wine; beer/cider/lager; spirits or alcopops/coolers). They indicated how many drinks they required to reach three stages of intoxication (feeling the effects; an ideal stage of intoxication; and the tipping point) and how frequently they reached each stage.

RESULTS: Drink type affected grams of alcohol reported to reach the tipping point: 109?gm wine, 127?gm alcopops, 133?gm of beer, and 134?gm of spirts. Respondents who drank at home alone, or in clubs reached their tipping point more frequently compared to other locations.

CONCLUSIONS: Where people drink, and the type of alcohol they drink, affected the amount of alcohol reported to reach different stages of intoxication. Understanding why different drinking locations, and drink types lead to a need for greater consumption to reach an ideal state of drunkenness, such as social cues from other people who drink, may enable people to reduce their drinking.

23 September 2021 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Adolescent alcohol consumption is a major public health concern that should be continuously monitored. This study aims (i) to analyze country-level trends in weekly alcohol consumption, drunkenness and early initiation in alcohol consumption and drunkenness among 15-year-old adolescents from 39 countries and regions across Europe and North America between 2002 and 2014 and (ii) to examine the geographical patterns in adolescent alcohol-related behaviours.

METHODS: The sample was composed of 250 161 adolescents aged 15 from 39 countries and regions from Europe and North America. Survey years were 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. The alcohol consumption and drunkenness items of the HBSC questionnaire were employed. Prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Poisson regression models with robust variance.

RESULTS: Data show a general decrease in all four alcohol variables between 2002 and 2014 except for some countries. However, there is variability both within a country (depending on the alcohol-related behaviour under study) and across countries (in the beginning and shape of trends). Some countries have not reduced or even increased their levels in some variables. Although some particularities have persisted over time, there are no robust patterns by regions.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite an overall decrease in adolescent alcohol consumption, special attention should be paid to those countries where declines are not present, or despite decreasing, rates are still high. Further research is needed to clarify factors associated with adolescent drinking, to better understand country specificities and to implement effective policies.

26 May 2021 In Drinking Patterns
Objectives: Alcohol consumption and harms among older people are increasing. We examined different demographic characteristics and drinking patterns among an older population. Methods: Secondary analyses of nationally representative Australian data; subjects aged 50+ years (N = 10,856). Two-step cluster analysis was performed to identify demographic groups and alcohol consumption behaviours. Results: Three groups were identified: Group 1 (older, unmarried, and lived alone): >65 years, moderate drinkers, poorest health, psychological distress, social disadvantage, smokers, illicit drug users, and more frequent previous alcohol treatment. Group 3 (older married): >65 years, good health, low psychological distress, less likely to drink at risky levels, and one in five drank daily. Group 2 (younger married): 50-64 years, mostly employed, highest proportion of risky drinkers and of 5+ standard drinks per session, and liberal drinking attitudes with most concern from others about their drinking. Discussion: These demographic typologies can inform targeted prevention efforts for an estimated 1.3 million adults older than 50 years drinking at risky levels.
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