30 April 2019 In Drinking Patterns

This study examined changes in public knowledge of low-risk drinking, explored factors associated with knowledge level and its relationship with a reduction in alcohol consumption. Data (n=153,820) of six waves of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, conducted during the period 2001-2016, were analysed. Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol was applied to compute participants' knowledge of low-risk drinking. This guideline was introduced in 2001 and later revised in 2009. Multivariable log-binomial regression model was used to analyse the pooled dataset. Subgroup analysis examined the relationship between knowledge score and a reduction in alcohol consumption across drinker categories. Public knowledge was better for long-term than short-term low-risk drinking, and women had better knowledge than men. Since 2010 there has been a small increase in knowledge of low-risk drinking. Although level of knowledge improved over time, it appears to align more towards the 2001-guideline, particularly for the recommended limits for men. Those who were relatively old; were women; received at least year-10 or more education; were not residing in the most disadvantaged areas; identified themselves as either light-, social-, heavy- or binge-drinkers; were currently/previously married; or perceived their health 'excellent' were significantly more likely than others to have an accurate knowledge of low-risk drinking. There was a positive association between knowledge score and the reduction in alcohol consumption among the self-reported social drinkers, heavy drinkers and binge drinkers. Tailored interventions are recommended for those who lack adequate knowledge and drink at a risky level.

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