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.

05 June 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Binge drinking causes injury and illness. Prevalence of binge drinking doubled in 2006-2018 for women in middle adulthood (ages 30 s and 40 s); these are the first cohorts for whom attaining higher education and income (both associated with increased alcohol use) are highly prevalent. It is unknown whether recent trends in binge drinking among US women aged 30-49 differ by socio-economic status (SES).

METHODS: We examined trends in binge drinking using nationally-representative National Health Interview Surveys (2006-2018) for women age 30-49 (N = 63,426), by education (college) and family income (400 % of poverty line), controlling for age and race.

RESULTS: The odds of binge drinking increased among all women approximately 7 % annually from 2006 to 2018. The magnitude of the change increased with education; the predicted probability of binge drinking among women at lowest levels of education increased from 10 % to 13 % from 2006 to 2018 (adjusted OR [AOR] 1.02, 95 % CI 0.99, 1.04), and those with the highest education from 13%-32% (AOR 1.10, 95 % CI 1.08-1.12). Women at the lowest income increased binge drinking from 12 % to 16 % (AOR 1.03, 95 % CI 1.01-1.05) and highest income from 17 % to 36 % (AOR 1.09, 95 % CI 1.07-1.10). Interactions between education (F855(4), p < 0.001) and income (F857(3), p < 0.001) with time confirmed slope differences.

CONCLUSIONS: Nationally, women at all levels of SES increased binge drinking, but increases were most pronounced among high SES women.

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