health

Binge drinking most common among men and young adults

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 30, 2012

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Despite public health efforts to reduce binge drinking, the practice remains common among U.S. adults, according to a study in the Jan. 13 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010, 17.1% of adults reported binge drinking, compared with 15.2% in 2009, the report shows.

Researchers said the increase probably is due to the inclusion of cellphone respondents in the 2010 survey. People who have a cellphone but no land-line telephone typically are 18 to 34 years old and male, researchers said. Both groups tend to report a higher prevalence of binge drinking than other adults.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on binge drinking among adults and the frequency and intensity of such alcohol consumption. They found that binge drinking prevalence and intensity were highest among participants 18 to 34 years old (link).

However, people 65 and older were more likely to be binge drinkers more often. Such consumption also was more common among men, whites and those with a household income of $75,000 or greater.

Researchers encourage public health officials to implement evidence-based strategies to prevent binge drinking, such as increasing the price of alcohol and maintaining limits on the days and hours when it can be sold.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/30/hlbf0130.htm.

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