14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving

OBJECTIVES: Maternal alcohol use is a leading preventable cause of neurobehavioral and developmental abnormalities in children. This study examines the patterns and average volume of alcohol use among U.S. women of childbearing age in order to identify subgroups of high-risk women for selective intervention.

METHODS: A sample of 188,290 women aged 18-44 years participated in the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC)'s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey during the period of 2001-2003. Reported alcohol use patterns and average volume were examined for pregnant and nonpregnant women. Efforts were made to evaluate and characterize women who practiced various levels of binge drinking.

RESULTS: The results showed that approximately 2% of pregnant women and 13% of nonpregnant women in the United States engaged in binge drinking during the period of 2001-2003. Among the estimated average of 6.7 million women of childbearing age overall who engaged in binge drinking during the period, approximately 28.5% women also reported consuming an average of 5 drinks or more on typical drinking days, or about 21.4% women consumed at least 45 drinks on average in a month. Larger proportions of binge drinkers with high usual quantity of consumption were found among women of younger ages (18-24 years) or current smokers.

CONCLUSIONS: Future prevention efforts should include strategies that combine health messages and encourage women of childbearing age, with particular emphasis on women 18-24 years, to avoid alcohol and tobacco use, and take multivitamins and folic acid daily for better pregnancy outcomes. Other efforts must also include broad-based implementation of screening and brief intervention for alcohol misuse in primary and women's health care settings.

14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving

AIMS: To give an overview of the volume of alcohol consumption, beverage preference, and patterns of drinking among adults (people 15 years and older) in central and eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) and to compare it to southern and western Europe, Russia and Ukraine.

METHODS: Secondary data analysis. Consumption and preferred beverage type data for the year 2002 were taken from the WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol and the WHO Global Alcohol Database.

RESULTS: Average consumption in central and eastern Europe is high with a relatively large proportion of unrecorded consumption ranging from one litre in Czech Republic and Estonia to 10.5 l in Ukraine. The proportion of heavy alcohol consumption (more than 40 g of pure alcohol per day) among men was the lowest in Bulgaria (25.8%) and the highest in Czech Republic (59.4%). Among women, the lowest proportion of heavy alcohol consumption was registered in Estonia (4.0%) and the highest in Hungary (16.0%). Patterns of drinking are detrimental with a high proportion of binge drinking, especially in the group of countries traditionally drinking vodka. In most countries, beer is now the most prevalent alcoholic beverage.

CONCLUSIONS: Other studies suggest that the population drinking levels found in central and eastern Europe are linked with higher levels of detrimental health outcomes. Known effective and cost-effective programs to reduce levels of risky drinking should, therefore, be implemented, which may, in turn, lead to a reduction of alcohol-attributable burden of disease.

14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving

AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the utility of a short, practical pouring exercise as a means of illustrating the details of the UK 'Sensible Drinking' guidelines.

METHODS: Participants (N = 297, 53% male) recruited at four Edinburgh employment sites, each completed a short non-standardized questionnaire and poured their 'usual measure of wine or spirit' into a glass (purchased from four 'high street' outlets). The actual and estimated unit content of their poured drinks and reactions to feedback were noted. Participants were informed of their daily limit of consumption in terms of this drink.

RESULTS: On average, drinks contained 2.05 UK units. Only 27% (N = 79) of respondents estimated the unit content of their drink within 10% of the true value. Of drinkers, 20.5% (N = 61) indicated that the results of the pouring test would influence their future pouring (70% of these were women). When informed of daily limits of consumption in terms of personal drink measure, 46% (N = 132) of drinkers indicated they would usually exceed this.

CONCLUSION: A practical demonstration of health guidelines presented in terms of personal drinking habits may contribute to dissemination of responsible drinking messages. Preliminary evidence suggests women may be particularly open to this approach. The utility of this intervention is underscored by recent figures highlighting the increasing preference for home drinking.

14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving

AIMS: It is generally accepted, but not yet documented that the risk of future alcoholism increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The objective of this study was to investigate this association using the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

METHODS: Quantity and frequency of alcohol intake was measured in 19 698 men and women randomly drawn from the Copenhagen Population Register in 1976-78. The study population was linked to three different registers in order to detect alcoholism, and average follow-up time was 25 years.

RESULTS: After adjustment for all putative confounders, the risk of alcoholism for women increased significantly at 1-7 drinks per week with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.02 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 3.53) compared to never/almost never drinking; the HR for drinking monthly was 1.75 (95% CI: 1.08, 2.85). The risk for men did not increase significantly before 22-41 drinks per week (HR = 3.81, 95 % CI: 2.18, 6.68) or if they had a daily alcohol intake (HR = 3.55, 95 % CI: 2.11, 5.99). Smoking was independently associated with the risk of alcoholism for both men and women.

CONCLUSION: The risk of developing alcoholism increased significantly by very low intakes of alcohol in women, while the risk is only increased significantly in men consuming more than 21 drinks per week.

Page 264 of 266

Disclaimer

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 and Privacy Policy.