Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Binge drinkers report sub-optimal health status more often than non-binge drinkers

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Binge drinking accounts for more than half of 79,000 excessive-drinking deaths annually in the United States. A new study has looked at heavy and binge drinking in relation to drinkers' own perceptions of their overall health status. Results show binge drinkers have a 13 to 23 percent greater likelihood of self-reporting fair to poor health status.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that excessive drinking is responsible for approximately 79,000 deaths annually in the United States. Binge drinking accounts for more than half of those deaths. A new study has looked at the frequency of binge drinking in relation to drinkers' own perceptions of their overall health status. Findings indicate that binge drinkers have a 13 to 23 percent greater likelihood of self-reporting suboptimal health status.

Results will be published in the August 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Self-rated health (SRH) is a single question that has been used by many national and international health surveys to measure participants' perception of their overall health status," explained James Tsai, an epidemiologist at the CDC and corresponding author for the study. "Several decades of research has accumulated substantial and consistent evidence that SRH is strong predictor of future morbidity and mortality, as well as functional decline and health care utilization."

"Binge drinking − defined as four or more drinks per occasion for a woman, and five or more drinks per occasion for a man − is a dangerous pattern of alcohol consumption that is associated with a wide range of health and social problems in the U.S., including car crashes, violence, STDs, and unintended pregnancies," added Robert D. Brewer, alcohol program leader at the CDC. "What's more, adult binge drinkers typically … consume an average of about eight drinks per binge episode, well in excess of the cut-points used to define this behavior. Even so, most binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent."

Researchers examined a total of 200,587 adult, current drinkers (89,919 men, 110,668 women) who participated in the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS asked participants to rate their health by answering the question: "Would you say that, in general, your health is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?" Study authors then estimated the prevalence of binge drinking and heavy drinking (defined as an average of 14 drinks per week for men, and seven or more drinks per week for women), as well as the frequency of binge drinking (defined as the number of binge episodes reported by drinkers during a 30-day period). SRH was then divided into the categories of optimal (excellent, very good, or good) and suboptimal (fair or poor).

"The results indicate that binge drinking continues to be a serious public health concern across the lifespan," said Tsai. "Almost 35 million adults reported binge drinking in 2008, and more than 40 percent of these binge drinkers reported four or more episodes of binge drinking during the previous 30 days. Furthermore, frequent binge drinkers and binge drinkers who report high average daily alcohol consumption heavy drinking, are significantly more likely to report suboptimal self-rated health. In addition, these levels of binge drinking were associated with a 13 to 23 percent increased likelihood of reporting suboptimal SRH, when compared to non-binge drinkers."

"These results are significant because persons who report lower self-rated health are at greater risk of hospitalization and death than persons who report higher self-reported health," said Brewer. "Consequently, this study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence showing that binge drinking is associated with a with many serious public health outcomes, including hospitalizations and deaths."

"These results support broad-based implementation of screening and brief interventions for excessive drinking in health-care settings," said Tsai. "The magnitude of the prevalence of binge drinking and the estimated population size also underscores the need to identify and implement effective population-based prevention and intervention strategies."

Brewer concurs. "Although not specifically discussed in this paper, most binge drinkers who report high average daily alcohol consumption tend to binge drink frequently, and may consume more drinks per binge drinking episode as well," he said. "This emphasizes the need to implement effective population-based strategies for preventing binge drinking, including increasing alcohol-excise taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density, and restricting the days and hours when alcohol is sold."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James Tsai, Earl S. Ford, Chaoyang Li, William S. Pearson, Guixiang Zhao. Binge Drinking and Suboptimal Self-Rated Health Among Adult Drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01231.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Binge drinkers report sub-optimal health status more often than non-binge drinkers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601091334.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2010, June 7). Binge drinkers report sub-optimal health status more often than non-binge drinkers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601091334.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Binge drinkers report sub-optimal health status more often than non-binge drinkers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601091334.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. 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:
from the past week

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