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More Americans Drinking More Alcohol

Posted Oct 06 2010 9:00am
Among women, whites more likely than Hispanics, blacks to down 5 or more drinks a day, study finds

By Robert Preidt
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States due to a number of factors, including social, economic and ethnic influences and pressures, a new study has found.

Researchers analyzed national alcohol consumption patterns among people who took part in the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey and the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Each survey included about 43,000 people.

Drinkers were defined as people who had consumed at least 12 drinks that contained at least 0.6 ounces of any kind of alcohol within the past year. The number of whites, Hispanics and blacks who reported drinking increased between 1992 and 2002.

Among women, whites were more likely than Hispanics or blacks to consume five or more drinks a day or drink to intoxication, said the UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers.

The study also found an increase in drinking five or more drinks per day among heavier drinkers, which suggests a potential polarization of drinking practices.

Males younger than 60 who did not have a college degree were likely to consume more drinks per month, and being unmarried or unemployed were risk factors for males getting intoxicated more than once a month, according to the report published online and in the October print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

The findings suggest "that a variety of public-health policies such as restrictions on alcohol advertising, regulating high-alcohol-content beverages, increasing taxes on alcohol, as well as treatment and brief interventions may be needed to reduce alcohol-related problems," lead author Dr. Raul Caetano, dean of the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions, said in a medical center news release.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center, news release, Oct. 5, 2010


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