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Monday, April 29, 2013

Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks: Are There Associated Negative Consequences beyond Hazardous Drinking in College Students?

The consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) is prevalent among college students as is hazardous drinking, a drinking pattern that places one at risk for alcohol-related harm. The present study, therefore, examined associations between AmED use, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related consequences in college students.

Based on a probability sample conducted in 2010, participants were 606 undergraduate students aged 18-25. AmED consumption included lifetime and past year use. Hazardous drinking and alcohol-related consequences were measured during the past year. Point prevalence was used to estimate rates of AmED use, and chi-square, ANOVA, and logistic regression were used to examine associations between AmED use, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related consequences.

Lifetime and past year AmED use prevalence rates were 75.2% and 64.7%, respectively. Hazardous drinkers who engaged in AmED use were significantly more likely than past year hazardous drinkers who did not engage in AmED use to have had unprotected sex (OR = 2.35, CI 1.27-4.32).

AmED use appears to be highly prevalent among college students, and AmED use may confer additional risk for unprotected sex beyond hazardous drinking. Unprotected sex has implications for public health, and students who drink hazardously and consume AmED may be at greater risk.

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