Although drinking patterns in women have received increased attention, few studies have focused on middle-aged women. Drinking patterns were investigated in a population sample of 513 Swedish women aged 50-59, and analysed in relation to social situation, and mental and physical health. The chi-square test was used to analyse differences in proportions. Variables showing significant differences were entered into a multivariate or multinomial logistic regression model. Abstainers and occasional drinkers had lower levels of education and more often regular medical control compared with weekly drinkers. Furthermore, abstainers more often had disability pension. Among women drinking alcohol, 56.6% affirmed binge drinking within the last year and 39.4% within the last month. Binge drinkers did not differ in terms of social situation, mental or physical health, compared with other drinkers. Drinking to relieve tension was affirmed by 7.2%. These women had more mental symptoms and less contact with friends compared with other drinkers; furthermore, they were more often binge drinkers. Binge drinking was common and health and social consequences of this drinking pattern in middle-aged women need to be further explored. Women drinking to relieve tension may need intervention for both drinking habits and mental health.
During the spring of 1995, 734 medical students at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm were randomly selected for inclusion in a postal questionnaire study of alcohol and drug habits. The response rate was over 80 per cent. Although both the level of alcohol consumption and the prevalence of hazardous consumption were lower than the corresponding figures for students at Stockholm and Uppsala Universities, 12 per cent of the male and four per cent of the female medical students were considered to be at risk of alcohol problems. About seven per cent of the medical students reported having used illegal drugs such as hashish, marijuana and cocaine during the past 12-month period, and about nine per cent to have used sedative and/or hypnotic drugs.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the predictors of the timing of alcohol consumption debut and to analyze possible associations between the timing of debut and later alcohol consumption and possible alcohol-related problems. METHOD: A population sample of 465 adolescents (249 girls) from the greater Oslo area was followed up through five data collections over a 6-year span. By means of generalized structural equation modeling--accommodating survival variables--parental and friends' influences on debut age were estimated. Further, the consequences of the age of debut on subsequent alcohol consumption and alcohol problems were studied, taking other influences into consideration. In particular, possible gender differences were investigated. RESULTS: The mean age for alcohol consumption debut was 14.8 years. The age of alcohol debut had an independent effect on both future alcohol consumption and the development of alcohol-related problems, and the effects were invariant across sex. According to the estimated model, a 10% delay in debut age will lead to a 35% decrease in subsequent expected alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol debut was an excellent predictor of subsequent alcohol consumption and alcohol problems. The strong preventive implication is that interventions should be implemented in order to postpone alcohol debut age. A weak implication is that preventive measures should be implemented for the early onset drinkers. Further, it seems to be important to give high priority to more thorough studies on the exact nature of the relationships we have investigated here.
An alcohol-induced memory blackout represents an amnesia to recall events but does not involve a loss of consciousness. Memory blackouts are a common occurrence among college drinkers, but it is not clear if a history of memory blackouts is predictive of future alcohol-related injury above and beyond the risk associated with heavy drinking episodes.
To determine whether baseline memory blackouts can prospectively identify college students with alcohol-related injury in the next 24 months after controlling for heavy drinking days.
Data were analysed from the College Health Intervention Project Study (CHIPS), a randomised controlled trial of screening and brief physician intervention for problem alcohol use among 796 undergraduate and 158 graduate students at four university sites in the USA and one in Canada, conducted from 2004 to 2009. Multivariate analyses used generalised estimating equations with the logit link.
The overall 24-month alcohol-related injury rate was 25.6%, with no significant difference between men and women (p=0.51). Alcohol-induced memory blackouts at baseline exhibited a significant dose-response on odds of alcohol-related injury during follow-up, increasing from 1.57 (95% CI 1.13 to 2.19) for subjects reporting 1-2 memory blackouts at baseline to 2.64 (95% CI 1.65 to 4.21) for students acknowledging 6+ memory blackouts at baseline. The link between memory blackouts and injury was mediated by younger age, prior alcohol-related injury, heavy drinking, and sensation-seeking disposition.
Memory blackouts are a significant predictor of future alcohol-related injury among college drinkers after adjusting for heavy drinking episodes.
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The impact of alcohol consumption, drinking pattern and drinking context on involvement in alcohol-related violence was assessed in a survey of 2711 Norwegian adults. Having taken part in a fight while influenced by alcohol and having been injured by an intoxicated person during the past year was reported by 3% and 2.4% of the respondents, respectively. Involvement in alcohol-related violence was most often reported among younger people, among single people, and it was positively associated with alcohol consumption, frequency of intoxication and frequency of visiting public drinking places. Both frequency of intoxication and overall alcohol consumption were positively associated with the probability of having been in a fight while intoxicated. Frequency of visits to public drinking places was significantly associated with the risk of being injured by an intoxicated person, also when own drinking pattern was controlled for. The results also indicated that the more often drinking takes place in public drinking places, the less is the impact of intoxication on the probability of getting into a fight.
To describe perceived negative consequences (PNCs) of alcohol consumption related to the frequency of heavy episodic drinking (HED) in a Swedish population attending primary health care (PHC).
Data from a computer-based assessment, including questions about alcohol consumption and PNC, were collected from 28 PHC centres in Sweden. The analysis included 4559 responders. Risk ratios concerning PNC for different frequencies of HED were calculated.
Engaging in HED once a month for women and two to three times a month for men significantly raised the proportion of individuals reporting PNC, compared with engaging in HED less than once a month. The men reported PNC of alcohol consumption to a higher degree than the women, and in general, the proportion of individuals reporting PNC was associated with the frequency of HED.
Engaging in HED once a month for women and two to three times a month for men are critical levels regarding PNC of alcohol consumption. To identify a cut-off value for categorizing individuals as hazardous alcohol consumers due to the frequency of HED, further studies are needed.
To assess differences in cognitive functions by year of birth in Russia and the Czech Republic.
A cross-sectional study in the general population of Novosibirsk (Russia) and 6 cities of the Czech Republic recruited random samples of men and women (3,874 Russians, 3,626 Czechs) aged 45-69 years in 2002 (i.e. born in 1933-1957). Word recall, verbal fluency (number of animals named in 1 min) and letter search were assessed in a clinic.
Except letter search in men, we found similar levels of cognitive functioning in Russians and Czechs in the youngest subjects and a steeper association of functioning with year of birth in Russia than in the Czech Republic. For example, the difference in the mean word recall, associated with 10 years difference in year of birth, was 0.9 (SE 0.06) words in Russian men, compared to 0.4 (0.06) words in Czech men; in women, these figures were 0.8 (0.05) and 0.3 (0.05), respectively. For all outcomes, except letter search in men, the interactions between year of birth and country were statistically highly significant, and the differences in the year of birth effects between countries were largely unexplained by socioeconomic indicators and risk factors.
The slope of association between lower cognitive functioning and earlier year of birth is much steeper in Russia than in the Czech Republic. Given that poor cognitive functioning is a risk factor for dementia, long-term follow-up of this cohort and other studies into population rates of cognitive impairment in Russia should be a priority.
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Fundamental to supporting hazardous alcohol users are the rationales for reducing alcohol intake highlighted by the users themselves. This study analyses the relative importance of beliefs about pros and cons of drinking in relation to having an intention to reduce intake among both hazardous and moderate alcohol users.
Intention to change was assessed in a representative sample of Stockholm's population (n = 4278, response rate 56.5%). Alcohol use was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test measure. A decisional balance inventory was used to examine various beliefs about the pros and cons of drinking, which covered affect changes, social gains and losses, and possible adverse effects. Independent correlations were determined by logistic regression using a backward exclusion procedure (P > 0.05).
Higher ratings of importance were generally related to intent, whether or not the contrast was with having no intent or already having made a reduction. This was especially true for hazardous users. Only two beliefs were independently correlated with change among hazardous users: 'Drinking could get me addicted' and 'Drinking makes me more relaxed/less tense' (pseudo-R2
The impact of depressive symptoms on ART initiation among Russian HIV-infected heavy drinkers enrolled in a secondary HIV prevention trial (HERMITAGE) was examined. We assessed 133 participants eligible for ART initiation (i.e., CD4 count