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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2007 Jan-Feb;14(1):45-9.

Hazardous drinking among adults with diabetes and related eye disease or visual problems: a population-based cross-sectional survey.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.



To estimate the prevalence of problem drinking and related risk behaviors among adults with diabetes and eye disease in the United States.


In a population-based, cross-sectional telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population (18 years of age or older) conducted in 47 U.S. states in 2002 and 40 U.S. states in 1999, we identified the prevalence of binge drinking (5 or more drinks on an occasion in the last month), drinking and driving in the last month, and binge drinking and concurrent unlocked firearm ownership. We used sample weights to estimate the prevalence and number of individuals reporting each measure in the full U.S. population.


In 2002, 130 of 3,670 respondents with diabetes-related eye disease reported binge drinking within the last month (prevalence 4%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3%-6%), corresponding to an estimated 116,501 adults in the United States (95% CI: 80,020-152,981). Approximately 0.4% (95% CI: 0.2%-0.9%) of all affected adults, and 0.8% (95% CI: 0.3%-2%) of all affected males, endorsed driving after drinking within the last month, corresponding to an estimated 12,150 Americans with diabetic eye disease who drink and drive (95% CI: 2,414-21,887). An estimated total of 15,356 (95% CI: 2,180-28,533) also reported having a loaded and unlocked firearm at home. Estimates of binge drinking and drinking and driving were at least as high among the 1,854 respondents with diabetes and visual impairment in 1999.


Binge drinking occurs in 4%-5% of adults with diabetes and eye disease. Driving after drinking and unlocked gun ownership, while uncommon, also occur among such individuals, who are apt to be at extraordinarily high risk for injury and other alcohol-related complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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