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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
2037.0: Sunday, November 04, 2007 - Board 1

Abstract #166629

Caffeinated Cocktails: Get wired, Get drunk, Get injured

Mary Claire O'Brien, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, One Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, (336) 716-4625, mobrien@wfubmc.edu, Thomas McCoy, MS, Department of Biostatistical Science, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157, and Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES, Div of Public Health Sciences/Dept of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2000 W. 1st Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1063.

OBJECTIVES: Mixing alcohol with energy drinks is popular on college campuses. Limited research suggests that energy drink consumption lessens subjective intoxication in persons who have also consumed alcohol, but does not alter motor coordination or visual reaction times. This study examines the relationship between energy drink use, high-risk drinking behavior, and alcohol-related consequences.

METHODS: In Fall 2006, web based surveys were administered to stratified random samples of 4,275 college students from ten NC universities. Students answered questions regarding alcohol use, its consequences, and other health risk behaviors. Data were analyzed using multiple clustered logistic regression. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for significant predictors (p< 0.05).

RESULTS: 697 students (16%) reported energy drink consumption. Students who were male (p <.001), White (p=.039), and Greek society members/pledges (p<.001) were more likely to consume energy drinks. In multivariable analyses, energy drink consumption was associated with heavy episodic drinking (AOR=8.2; p<.001) and getting drunk at least once per week (AOR=5.5; p<.001). Students who mixed alcohol and energy drinks were more likely to experience alcohol-related consequences, measured by 4 consequences subscales (p<.001). Point estimates of prevalence were higher for ED consumers for all 41 individual alcohol-related consequences. Energy drink consumption was associated with increased prevalence of drug use, including non-prescription use of stimulants (p<.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Energy drinks are heavily marketed to college students. College students who mix alcohol with energy drinks are at increased risk for alcohol-related injuries. Further research is necessary to understand this association and to develop targeted interventions to reduce injury risk.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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