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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Nov 1;126(1-2):272-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.05.017. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Sociodemographic characteristics associated with binge drinking among Brazilians.

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Alcohol and Drugs Research Unit (Unidade de Pesquisa em Álcool e Outras Drogas-UNIAD), Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



Binge drinking (BD) is a harmful pattern of alcohol use. This study describes this pattern of drinking and the sociodemographic variables associated with it in a representative sample of Brazilians.


A cross-sectional survey of 3007 individuals using a multistage probabilistic sample was conducted in 143 Brazilian municipalities. The frequency of BD in the year preceding the study was assessed. BD was defined as the consumption of four drinks of alcohol within a two-hour period for women and five drinks in two hours for men. Weighted-ordered logit regression was used to assess the relationship between sociodemographic factors and BD.


Most respondents had not engaged in binge drinking (69.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 67.0-72.2%). Binge drinking was more common among participants who were male (odds ratio (OR) 2.9; 95% CI 2.3-3.6) or single (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.1-2.1) or had higher family income (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.3-3.8). Individuals between 18 and 44 years of age were four times more likely to engage in binge drinking than adolescents (OR 4.7; 95% CI 3.3-6.8). Evangelicals/Protestants were less likely to engage in binge drinking (OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.2-0.5).


Our study, which is the first representative survey of BD in Brazil, showed that the age range of adults who engaged in BD is wider than the age range observed in other countries. These individuals are at increased risk for the adverse consequences of binge drinking, including addiction, car accidents, involvement in crime, absenteeism, and family violence.

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