25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

INTRODUCTION: Estimates of alcohol consumption in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System are generally lower than those in other surveys of U.S. adults. This study compares the estimates of adults' drinking patterns and the distribution of drinks consumed by average daily alcohol consumption from 2 nationwide telephone surveys.

METHODS: The 2014-2015 National Alcohol Survey (n=7,067) and the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n=408,069) were used to assess alcohol consumption among adults (>/=18 years), analyzed in 2019. The weighted prevalence of binge-level drinking and the distribution of drinks consumed by average daily alcohol consumption (low, medium, high) were assessed for the previous 12 months using the National Alcohol Survey and the previous 30 days using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, stratified by respondents' characteristics.

RESULTS: The prevalence of binge-level drinking in a day was 26.1% for the National Alcohol Survey; the binge drinking prevalence was 17.4% for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The prevalence of high average daily alcohol consumption among current drinkers was 8.2% for the National Alcohol Survey, accounting for 51.0% of total drinks consumed, and 3.3% for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, accounting for 27.7% of total drinks consumed.

CONCLUSIONS: National Alcohol Survey yearly prevalence estimates of binge-level drinking in a day and high average daily consumption were consistently greater than Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System monthly binge drinking and high average daily consumption prevalence estimates. When planning and evaluating prevention strategies, the impact of different survey designs and methods on estimates of excessive drinking and related harms is important to consider.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest that excessive alcohol use is increasing among women and older adults. Such trends are concerning, as women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related health consequences, and such health problems may be exacerbated with age. Furthermore, there are sex-specific factors that may influence alcohol consumption among women, including the hormonal changes associated with the menopausal transition and negative affect. The present study sought to investigate transitions in excessive drinking among women across the menopausal transition and included exploration of sex hormones (estradiol; testosterone) and depression.

METHODS: The present study utilized publicly available data from the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN) and included 3302 women (42-52 years old at baseline), who completed 10 years of annual assessments. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria were used as guidance when defining excessive drinking within the present dataset. At year 1, 170 women were identified as drinking excessively. Random-effect logistic regressions were used to examine transitions in excessive drinking.

RESULTS: Women identified as excessive drinkers were more likely to transition to non-excessive drinking across all menopausal transition stages (ORs range = 3.71-5.11), while women were more likely to transition from non-excessive to excessive drinking during the early peri- and postmenopausal stages (OR = 1.52 and 1.98, respectively). Higher testosterone levels were associated with a decreased likelihood of transitioning to non-excessive drinking (OR = 0.59). Depression and estradiol levels were not related to transitions in drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that the menopausal transition marks a period of instability in alcohol use among women. Further research is warranted to understand factors related to transitioning in and out of excessive drinking.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

Public health groups, researchers, the beverage alcohol industry, and other stakeholders have promoted and applied the concept of "responsible drinking" for the past 50 years. However, little is known about the state of the existing responsible drinking evaluation research and its application to policy and practice.

This project provides a scoping review of studies evaluating responsible drinking interventions. Two primary research questions guided this investigation: (1) To what extent have authors attempted to define the concept of responsible drinking while evaluating responsible drinking interventions? and (2) What is the state of the responsible drinking intervention evaluation literature? We retrieved 49 peer-reviewed articles that evaluated interventions designed to promote "responsible drinking."

Four articles provided, or attempted to provide, an explicit definition of responsible drinking; these four definitions lacked consensus. The existing responsible drinking interventions varied considerably in terms of the messages they attempted to convey (e.g., avoid binge drinking, use protective behavioral strategies, stick to relatively safe drinking limits), again suggesting lack of consensus.

We observed greater consensus concerning the approach to evaluating responsible drinking interventions: studies typically recruited college students to complete brief, well-controlled experiments and measured potential predictors of drinking behavior (e.g., attitudes, expectancies, intentions) rather than actual drinking behavior. We discuss limitations of this methodological approach and the need for greater consensus regarding the concept of responsible drinking.

26 June 2020 In Drinking Patterns

AIMS: The aims of the article are (a) to estimate coverage rates (i.e. the proportion of 'real consumption' accounted for by a survey compared with more reliable aggregate consumption data) of the total, the recorded and the beverage-specific annual per capita consumption in 23 European countries, and (b) to investigate differences between regions, and other factors which might be associated with low coverage (prevalence of heavy episodic drinking [HED], survey methodology).

METHODS: Survey data were derived from the Standardised European Alcohol Survey and Harmonising Alcohol-related Measures in European Surveys (number of surveys: 39, years of survey: 2008-2015, adults aged 20-64 years). Coverage rates were calculated at the aggregated level by dividing consumption estimates derived from the surveys by alcohol per capita estimates from a recent global modelling study. Fractional response regression models were used to examine the relative importance of the predictors.

RESULTS: Large variation in coverage across European countries was observed (average total coverage: 36.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] [33.2; 39.8]), with lowest coverage found for spirits consumption (26.3, 95% CI [21.4; 31.3]). Regarding the second aim, the prevalence of HED was associated with wine- and spirits-specific coverage, explaining 10% in the respective variance. However, neither the consideration of regions nor survey methodology explained much of the variance in coverage estimates, regardless of the scenario.

CONCLUSION: The results reiterate that alcohol survey data should not be used to compare or estimate aggregate consumption levels, which may be better reflected by statistics on recorded or total per capita consumption.

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