169606 Recent trends in binge drinking among adults United States, 2001-2006

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:48 PM

Pollyana R. Chavez, PhD , Alcohol Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
David E. Nelson, MD, MPH , Alcohol Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Robert D. Brewer, MD, MSPH , Alcohol Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background: Binge drinking (consuming ≥5 drinks/occasion; BD) is responsible for more than half of the 75,000 alcohol-attributable deaths in the United States annually. Reducing the prevalence of BD to 6% is one of the leading health indicators in Healthy People 2010. However, previous studies have reported that the prevalence of BD among U.S. adults has been stable and that the frequency of BD episodes is increasing.

Methods: Using 2001-2006 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System we assessed national trends in BD prevalence and episodes among persons aged ≥18 years by several demographics.

Results: Overall BD prevalence decreased from 14.6% [95%CI=14.3-14.9] in 2001 to 13.9% [95%CI=13.6-14.2] in 2006. Male BD prevalence decreased from 22.5% (95%CI=22.0-23.1) in 2001 to 20.7% (95%CI=20.2-21.2) in 2006. Significant decreases occurred in men aged 18-24 years, Hispanic men, and men with incomes ≤$50,000. Female BD prevalence generally remained unchanged across the years (7.3% in 2001 to 7.4% in 2006), with the only significant decrease occurring among women aged 18-20 years. The estimated total number of BD episodes among U.S. adults decreased slightly from 1.5 billion in 2001 to 1.4 billion in 2006. Men accounted for 81.3% and 73.5% of the episodes in 2001 and 2006, respectively.

Conclusion: Despite modest decreases over the past six years, BD remains a common risk behavior among U.S. adults. It seems unlikely that any health goal to reduce adult BD will be met. Evidence-based strategies to prevent BD (e.g., increasing alcohol excise taxes) should be widely adopted.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the public health importance of binge drinking in the U.S. 2. Describe the trends in binge drinking estimates among U.S. adults. 3. Identify evidence-based strategies to prevent binge drinking.

Keywords: Binge Drinking, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the main researcher in this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.