Drinking Patterns

Drinking Patterns (60)

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that people who abstain from alcohol have a higher mortality rate than those who drink low to moderate amounts. However, little is known about factors that might be causal for this finding. The objective was to analyze former alcohol or drug use disorders, risky drinking, tobacco smoking, and fair to poor health among persons who reported abstinence from alcohol drinking in the last 12 months before baseline in relation to total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality 20 years later.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: A sample of residents aged 18 to 64 years had been drawn at random among the general population in northern Germany and a standardized interview conducted in the years 1996 to 1997. The baseline assessment included 4,093 persons (70.2% of those who had been eligible). Vital status and death certificate data were retrieved in the years 2017 and 2018.

We found that among the alcohol-abstinent study participants at baseline (447), there were 405 (90.60%) former alcohol consumers. Of the abstainers, 322 (72.04%) had met one or more criteria for former alcohol or drug dependence or abuse, alcohol risky drinking, or had tried to cut down or to stop drinking, were daily smokers, or self-rated their health as fair to poor. Among the abstainers with one or more of these risk factors, 114 (35.40%) had an alcohol use disorder or risky alcohol consumption in their history. Another 161 (50.00%) did not have such an alcohol-related risk but were daily smokers. The 322 alcohol-abstinent study participants with one or more of the risk factors had a shorter time to death than those with low to moderate alcohol consumption. The Cox proportional hazard ratio (HR) was 2.44 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.68 to 3.56) for persons who had one or more criteria for an alcohol or drug use disorder fulfilled in their history and after adjustment for age and sex. The 125 alcohol-abstinent persons without these risk factors (27.96% of the abstainers) did not show a statistically significant difference from low to moderate alcohol consumers in total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. Those who had stayed alcohol abstinent throughout their life before (42; 9.40% of the alcohol-abstinent study participants at baseline) had an HR 1.64 (CI 0.72 to 3.77) compared to low to moderate alcohol consumers after adjustment for age, sex, and tobacco smoking. Main limitations of this study include its reliance on self-reported data at baseline and the fact that only tobacco smoking was analyzed as a risky behavior alongside alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the alcohol abstainers at baseline were former alcohol consumers and had risk factors that increased the likelihood of early death. Former alcohol use disorders, risky alcohol drinking, ever having smoked tobacco daily, and fair to poor health were associated with early death among alcohol abstainers. Those without an obvious history of these risk factors had a life expectancy similar to that of low to moderate alcohol consumers. The findings speak against recommendations to drink alcohol for health reasons.

BACKGROUND: In many countries, lockdown measures were implemented to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation may have an impact on mental health, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. The aim of this research report is therefore to describe changes in tobacco and alcohol consumption in the general French population during the first 2 weeks of lockdown and identify any associated factors.

METHODS: Self-reported changes in smoking and alcohol consumption following the lockdown implemented in France on 17 March 2020 were collected from 2003 respondents aged 18 years and older in an online cross-sectional survey carried out from 30 March to 1 April 2020. Anxiety and depression levels were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS: Among current smokers, 26.7% reported an increase in their tobacco consumption since lockdown and 18.6% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 54.7%. The increase in tobacco consumption was associated with an age of 18-34 years, a high level of education, and anxiety. Among alcohol drinkers, 10.7% reported an increase in their alcohol consumption since lockdown and 24.4% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 64.8%. The increase in alcohol consumption was associated with an age of 18-49 years, living in cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants, a high socio-professional category, and a depressive mood.

CONCLUSIONS: The national lockdown implemented in France during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced tobacco and alcohol consumption in different ways according to sociodemographic group and mental health.

This paper explores trends in beverage preference in adolescents, identifies related regional differences, and examines cluster differences in key drinking measures. Data were obtained from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), covering 24 European countries between 1999 and 2019. Trends in the distribution of alcoholic beverages on the participants' most recent drinking occasion were analysed by sex and country using fractional multinomial logit regression. Clusters of countries based on trends and predicted beverage proportions were compared regarding the prevalence of drinkers, mean alcohol volume and prevalence of heavy drinking. Four distinct clusters each among girls and boys emerged. Among girls, there was not one type of beverage that was preferred across clusters, but the proportion of cider/alcopops strongly increased over time in most clusters. Among boys, the proportion of beer decreased, but was dominant across time in all clusters. Only northern European countries formed a geographically defined region with the highest prevalence of heavy drinking and average alcohol volume in both genders. Adolescent beverage preferences are associated with mean alcohol volume and heavy drinking at a country-level. Future approaches to drinking cultures need to take subpopulations such as adolescents into account.

During the early months of 2020, the world experienced a novel, violent, and relentless pandemic era. By the end of the year more than seventy-seven million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the globe. Due to it being a highly contagious disease, the recommended measures adopted by most nations to prevent infection include social distancing and quarantine. How did these measures affect people's relationship with alcohol consumption in cultures where alcohol plays an important social role? A questionnaire-based study, designed to follow the drinking behaviour of people before and during lockdown was applied to two different cultural groups impacted by the pandemic during the strict phase of lockdown. These are the British and Spanish populations (179 participants from each country were interviewed). Considering the frequency of consumption of the alcoholic beverages evaluated (wine, beer, cider, whisky and spirits), the results showed that a significant lockdown*country interaction was observed. Overall, Spanish participants consumed alcoholic beverages less frequently during lockdown than before, while British participants reported no change in their consumption habits. Spaniards' decrease in alcohol consumption is related to the absence of a social contexts while Britons seems to have adapted their consumption to the modified context. Results suggest that, alcohol consumption is a central core of the British culture, while for the Spanish, socialization is more a cultural characteristic than the alcohol itself.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the longitudinal changes in alcohol consumption (total alcohol and types of alcoholic beverages) of the Greek EPIC cohort participants (28,572) during a 17-year period (1994-2011), with alcohol information being recorded repeatedly over time. Descriptive statistics were used to show crude trends in drinking behavior. Mixed-effects models were used to study the consumption of total alcohol, wine, beer and spirits/other alcoholic beverages in relation to birth cohort, socio-demographic, lifestyle and health factors. We observed a decreasing trend of alcohol intake as age increased, consistent for total alcohol consumption and the three types of beverages. Older birth cohorts had lower initial total alcohol consumption (8 vs. 10 g/day) and steeper decline in wine, spirits/other alcoholic beverages and total alcohol consumption compared to younger cohorts. Higher education and smoking at baseline had a positive association with longitudinal total alcohol consumption, up to +30% (vs. low education) and more than +25% (vs. non-smoking) respectively, whereas female gender, obesity, history of heart attack, diabetes, peptic ulcer and high blood pressure at baseline had a negative association of -85%, -25%, -16%, -37%, -22% and -24% respectively. Alcohol consumption changed over age with different trends among the studied subgroups and types of alcohol, suggesting targeted monitoring of alcohol consumption.

PURPOSE: A period of first increasing and then decreasing alcohol consumption in Finland in the 2000s offers an opportunity to scrutinize how population-level changes stem from varying developments in different population subgroups and drinking patterns. We examine 1) whose consumption changed in terms of age, sex, and level of consumption, and 2) how drinking patterns changed and whether the changes indicated steps toward a more Mediterranean drinking style.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The main data source was the Finnish Drinking Habits surveys of 2000, 2008, and 2016 of the general Finnish population aged 15?69?years (n?=?6703, response rates 59?78%).

RESULTS: Before 2008, consumption increased particularly among women and Finns aged 50+. After 2008, abstinence became more frequent and regular drinking less frequent. Additionally, heavy episodic drinking decreased, especially among men and in younger age groups. However, compared to earlier, similar levels of the volume of alcohol consumption did not result from a more Mediterranean drinking style, i.e. consuming smaller quantities more frequently. Finnish men continue to report very high maximum drinking amounts. The changes in both periods occurred as collective changes across the whole continuum of consumption from light to heavy drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our findings indicate that during the period of decreasing per capita alcohol consumption, both the frequency of drinking overall and of heavy episodic drinking decreased, but heavy episodic drinking is still prevalent.

BACKGROUND: This study examined the relative contribution of alcoholic beverage types to overall alcohol consumption and associations with heavy alcohol use and alcohol-related harms among adults.

METHODS: Cross-sectional survey data were collected from adult samples in two cities involved in the Global Smart Drinking Goals (GSDG) initiative in each of five countries (Belgium, Brazil, China, South Africa, United States). Survey measures included past-30-day consumption of beer, wine, flavored alcoholic drinks, spirits, and homemade alcohol; past-30-day heavy drinking; 14 alcohol-related harms in the past 12 months; and demographic characteristics. Within in each country, we computed the proportion of total alcohol consumption for each beverage type. Regression analyses were conducted to estimate the relative associations between consumption of each alcoholic beverage type, heavy alcohol use, and alcohol-related harms, controlling for demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: Beer accounted for at least half of total alcohol consumption in GSDG cities in Belgium, Brazil, the U.S., and South Africa, and 35% in China. Regression analyses indicated that greater beer consumption was associated with heavy drinking episodes and with alcohol-related harms in the cities in Belgium, Brazil, South Africa, and the U.S. Significant increases in heavy drinking and alcohol-related harms were also consistently observed for spirits consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: Beer accounts for the greatest proportion of total alcohol consumption in most of the GSDG cities and was consistently associated with more heavy drinking episodes and alcohol-related harms. Reducing beer consumption through evidence-based interventions may therefore have the greatest impact on hazardous drinking and alcohol-related harms.

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.

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.

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.

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