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Alcohol. 2012 Mar;46(2):165-72. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Aug 6.

Concurrent binge drinking and depression among Canadian youth: prevalence, patterns, and suicidality.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1Y2, Canada.


This study compared differences in risk for suicidality among youth living in the community who met criteria for comorbid depression and binge drinking, depression without binge drinking, and binge drinking without depression relative to a reference group with neither condition. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 3.1 (CCHS 3.1, 2005): a cross-sectional survey of respondents from the Canadian population. To restrict the sample to youth, respondents were excluded who were younger than 15 or older than 24 years. Over 17,000 respondents were assessed to determine whether they met criteria for depression, binge drinking, the comorbid condition, or neither condition (reference group). Binge drinking was defined as five drinks or more on an occasion. The 12-month prevalence rates for comorbid binge drinking and depression were 2.7% for male respondents and 2.1% for female respondents. When adjusted for demographic factors and when compared with the reference group, the risk of suicidality was increased for the depressed group (odds ratio [OR] 5.23, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.34-8.2) and the comorbid group (OR 6.28, 95% CI: 3.68-10.70), but not for the binge-drinking group. With the exception of increasing age, sociodemographic factors were not correlates of comorbidity. In conclusion, binge drinking was not associated with an increased risk of suicidality among Canadian youth living in the community, although depression and comorbidity were associated with suicidality.

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