WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption is on
the rise in the United States due to a number of factors, including
social, economic and ethnic influences and pressures, a new study
Researchers analyzed national alcohol consumption patterns among
people who took part in the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol
Epidemiologic Survey and the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Study
on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Each survey included about
Drinkers were defined as people who had consumed at least 12
drinks that contained at least 0.6 ounces of any kind of alcohol
within the past year. The number of whites, Hispanics and blacks
who reported drinking increased between 1992 and 2002.
Among women, whites were more likely than Hispanics or blacks to
consume five or more drinks a day or drink to intoxication, said
the UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers.
The study also found an increase in drinking five or more drinks
per day among heavier drinkers, which suggests a potential
polarization of drinking practices.
Males younger than 60 who did not have a college degree were
likely to consume more drinks per month, and being unmarried or
unemployed were risk factors for males getting intoxicated more
than once a month, according to the report published online and in
the October print issue of the journal
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
The findings suggest "that a variety of public-health policies
such as restrictions on alcohol advertising, regulating
high-alcohol-content beverages, increasing taxes on alcohol, as
well as treatment and brief interventions may be needed to reduce
alcohol-related problems," lead author Dr. Raul Caetano, dean of
the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions, said in a medical
center news release.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
alcohol and health.