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Alcohol Alcohol. 2015 Sep;50(5):573-8. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agv044. Epub 2015 May 12.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Risk of Injury Related to the Frequency of Heavy Drinking Occasions.

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Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA, USA
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA, USA.



To estimate the risk of injury associated with the frequency of heavy drinking days overall and for black, white and Hispanic drinkers in a US sample.


Data are from the 2010 National Alcohol Survey and included 6506 respondents comprising the landline sample. Analyses utilize Cox proportional hazards models with age as the timescale in a retrospective cohort design. Life-course drinking is determined by age of onset and questions on heavy drinking by decade of life. The outcome measure is having had a serious injury at a certain age. Models estimate the risk of injury in relation to heavy drinking in each year controlling for demographics, risk taking and time varying measures of smoking and chronic disease.


Results indicate that the risk of injury increases with the frequency of heavy drinking days to a hazard ratio of 2.14 (1.45-3.14) for daily heavy drinkers. Risks for white respondents were similar to the overall results but different risk relationships were found for black respondents among whom only daily heavy drinkers had increased risk of 4.09 (2.11-7.93), and for Hispanic respondents where elevated risk was seen among yearly heavy drinkers 2.71 (1.29-5.68), with a similar risk estimate for monthly heavy drinkers but lower and non-significant risks found for more frequent heavy drinking categories.


Different risk relationships were found across race/ethnicity groups suggesting elevated risk with less frequent heavy drinking among Hispanic respondents and very high risk from daily heavy drinking among black respondents.

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