246831 Relationship Between Lifetime Heavy Drinking and Health Outcomes Among Those Over 40

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jason Bond, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Madhabika Nayak, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
William C. Kerr, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Yu Ye, MS , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Background We examined the predictive validity of heavy drinking measures for several health outcome measures including self-reported current overall health status (rated from Poor to Excellent on a 5 category scale) as well as the respondent reporting ever having any health problem or alcohol-related health problem. Data analyzed were n=2,518 current drinking respondents (any drinking in the past 12 months) over the age of 40, a subset of a random sample of US residents collected by telephone. Control variables included age, gender, and ethnicity. Heavy drinking variables included frequency of drinking 5+ drinks/day in the past year as well as a variable assessing lifetime frequency of drinking 5+ drinks/day over the respondent's teens, 20's and 30's. Results In predicting any lifetime health problem, controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity, higher current frequency of 5+ was associated with a higher likelihood of any health problem (p<.001) as was lifetime frequency of 5+ was entered (p<.001) in addition to current heavy drinking. The same results held for predicting any lifetime alcohol-related health problem. In predicting current overall health rating, frequency of 5+ drinks/day was not a significant predictor, whereas better current health ratings were associated with lower lifetime frequencies of 5+ drinks/day (p<.001). Conclusions Although current and lifetime health problems can be associated with a number of important factors, alcohol use may be one of them. Results here suggest cumulative lifetime heavy drinking may be just as important to assess as current heavy drinking for detecting health problems and assessing overall health.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To understand the role that lifetime drinking history plays above and beyond current heavy drinking in assessing current and lifetime health problems.

Keywords: Alcohol, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the design of the data collection, carried out the analysis, and wrote the content for the abstract.
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.