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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Epidemiology of Alcohol Consumption and Misuse among Chinese College Students

To understand alcohol-related risk behaviours among Chinese college students.

As part of the first China National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, undertaken in 2009, 52,150 students at 119 colleges were randomly sampled. Information was obtained from self-administered questionnaires.

Prevalences were: lifetime drinkers 80.8%, current drinkers 49.3% (drank alcohol in past 30 days) and binge drinkers 23.5% (‘binge drinkers’ reporting at least five alcoholic drinks on a single occasion at least six times during the past 30 days). Multinomial logistic analysis revealed the contribution of sociodemographic factors to three high-risk drinking behaviours: odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 3.64 (2.69–4.60) with frequent drinking; 3.27 (1.82–4.72) with binge drinking; and 5.48 (3.20–7.77) with heavy binge drinking. These three rates were greater among males than females, in the Western more than the Eastern region, among students living off-campus and among those whose mothers had higher education. Heavy drinking was linked to lower academic self-rating.

There is a trend towards risky drinking among Chinese college students. Measures such as a minimum drinking age, advertisement restrictions, taxation, drunk-driving penalties and campaigns to heighten public awareness of alcohol-related health risks should be instituted in order to improve the situation on college campuses where
alcohol abuse is particularly prevalent.

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