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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Sep;38(9):2496-501. doi: 10.1111/acer.12521.

U.S. trends in light, moderate, and heavy drinking episodes from 2000 to 2010.

Author information

1
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Risks and potential benefits associated with alcohol use vary with the amount of alcohol consumed on a drinking occasion. Over time, changes in the absolute and relative numbers of light or heavy drinking episodes may occur, impacting health and social problems.

METHODS:

Analyses of the 2000, 2005, and 2010 National Alcohol Surveys focus on trends in the volumes of alcohol consumed on days where the drinker had 1 to 2, 3 to 4, or 5 or more drinks separately. These volume measures were obtained from graduated frequency questions with adjustments for estimated drink alcohol content for each drinker based on reported beer brand, spirits drink and pour method, contexts of drinking, and demographic characteristics. Respondents with especially high alcohol content drinks were adjusted up 1 category, and those with especially low alcohol content drinks were adjusted down 1 category. Trend significance was tested with adjusted Wald tests and in negative binomial models with 2000 as the reference year, indicators for race/ethnicity group and interactions between these and survey year, and adjustments for age, educational attainment, income, employment status, and wetness region. Analyses were conducted both in the overall sample including abstainers and in the current drinker sample only.

RESULTS:

Overall trend results indicate an increase in drink alcohol content-adjusted alcohol volume of 25% from 2000 to 2010 with similar changes between 2000 to 2005 and 2005 to 2010. Most of the increase from 2000 to 2005 resulted from increased volume from light drinking (1 to 2 drinks) days for men and women and moderate to heavy drinking (3 to 4 drinks) days for women, while the change from 2005 to 2010 resulted mostly from volume from heavy drinking days (5+ drinks per day) for men. Black and Hispanic women were found not to have participated in the overall trend of increased alcohol volume.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings highlight shifts in drinking patterns suggesting increased heavy occasion drinking in 2010, particularly among men.

KEYWORDS:

Disparities; Drink Alcohol Content; Heavy Occasions; Trends

PMID:
25257297
PMCID:
PMC4238393
DOI:
10.1111/acer.12521
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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