Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Your social network may affect your drinking habits

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
American College of Physicians
Summary:
According to a new study, the drinking habits of the people in your extended social group play a major role in determining your own rate of alcohol consumption.

According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians, the drinking habits of the people in your extended social group play a major role in determining your own rate of alcohol consumption.

Related Articles


Researchers used data from the landmark Framingham Heart Study which followed 12,067 people for more than 30 years and helped to define the patterns in social networks of other health issues such as obesity, smoking, and sexually transmitted diseases. In this analysis, the researchers sought to explore patterns of alcohol use in a large social network.

"We've found that the influence of your friends and people you have connections with can affect your health just as much as your family history or your genetic background," said Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and lead author of the study. "With regard to alcohol consumption, your social network may have both positive and negative health consequences, depending on the circumstances."

In the study, self-reported alcohol intake over time followed changes in the alcohol intake of the respondents' social contacts. The researchers found that a person was 50 percent more likely to drink heavily if a person they are directly connected with also drinks heavily and 36 percent more likely to drink heavily if a friend of a friend drinks heavily. The impact extended up to three degrees of separation. The researchers suggest this social phenomena could have other implications for clinical and health interventions. Social networks could be used to exploit positive health behaviors and further support group interventions.

"Our findings reinforce the idea that drinking is a public health and clinical problem that involves groups of interconnected people who evince shared behaviors," said Christakis. "In treating individuals for problematic drinking, we need to look at their social networks to identify and eliminate obstacles to abstaining."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Physicians. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Niels Rosenquist, Joanne Murabito, James H. Fowler, Nicholas A. Christakis. The Spread of Alcohol Consumption Behavior in a Large Social Network. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010; 152: 426-433 [link]

Cite This Page:

American College of Physicians. "Your social network may affect your drinking habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174942.htm>.
American College of Physicians. (2010, April 9). Your social network may affect your drinking habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174942.htm
American College of Physicians. "Your social network may affect your drinking habits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405174942.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins