Who is Binge Drinking?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Of all the alcohol-related deaths in the United States, more than 50% were caused by binge drinking, which is currently defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion for men and four for women. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey for 2004 to analyze differences in binge drinking incidence according to sex, age group, race/ethnicity, education level, and income level. They found that binge drinking was most prevalent among men, people between the ages of 18 and 24, whites, and people with household incomes over $50,000. Here are some important facts:

-        Men binged three times as much as women (24.3% vs 7.9%) with more frequency (4.6 days a month vs 2.9 days a month) than women and with a higher number of alcoholic drinks (8.3 vs 6.9).
-        Among education levels, college graduates had a lower prevalence of binge drinking in age group and gender than high school graduates (14.1% vs 17.1%).
-        The age group with the highest prevalence of binging (27.4%), 18 to 24 years, also had the highest average number of alcoholic beverages in their most recent episode with 9.8 drinks.
-        The age group with the lowest prevalence of binging (3.7%), 65 years and older, had the highest average number of binge drinking episodes in the past month with 6.8 episodes.
-Jenny Kim

Sociodemographic Differences in Binge Drinking Among Adults—14 States, 2004 (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report-CDC)



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