Associations between binge and heavy drinking and health behaviors in a nationally representative sample

Lisa A. Paul, Anouk L. Grubaugh, B. Christopher Frueh, Charles Ellis, Leonard E. Egede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Binge and heavy drinking are noted in the literature for their relatively high prevalence and adverse health-related effects. Design and participants: We used data from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) to determine the associations between binge and heavy drinking and a wide range of health-related variables, including positive and negative health behaviors, preventive care practices, and quality of life indices in a nationally representative sample of 344,793 adults. Results: Rates of binge and heavy drinking in the current sample were 15% and 5%, respectively. Binge and heavy drinking were more common among men, younger adults, and individuals with higher incomes and at least some college education. After controlling for relevant demographic variables, binge and heavy drinking were associated with a number of adverse health-related and preventive care behaviors (e.g., smoking, failing to receive a mammogram), as well as less life satisfaction and a greater number of poor mental health days than those who did not engage in these drinking behaviors. Interestingly, binge and heavy drinking were also associated with some positive health-related variables (e.g., recent physical activity, positive perceptions of one's own health). Conclusions: The current study findings provide additional information regarding the relations between health-related attitudes and behaviors and binge and heavy drinking in the U.S. population. Implications of study findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1245
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume36
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BRFSS
  • Binge drinking
  • Health behaviors
  • Heavy drinking
  • Preventive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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