Alcohol Use During the Great Recession of 2008-2009

Bor, J; Basu, S; Coutts, A; McKee, M; Stuckler, D; (2013) Alcohol Use During the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 48 (3). pp. 343-348. ISSN 0735-0414 DOI:

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Aims: The aim of this study was to assess changes in alcohol use in the USA during the Great Recession. Methods: Drinking participation, drinking frequency, drinking intensity, total alcohol consumption and frequency of binge drinking were assessed in a nationally representative sample of 2,050,431 US women and men aged 18 and older, interviewed between 2006 and 2010. Results: The prevalence of any alcohol use significantly declined during the economic recession, from 52.0% in 2006-2007 to 51.6% in 2008-2009 (P < 0.05), corresponding to 880,000 fewer drinkers (95% confidence interval [CI] 140,000 to 1.6 million). There was an increase, however, in the prevalence of frequent binging, from 4.8% in 2006-2007 to 5.1% in 2008-2009 (P < 0.01), corresponding to 770,000 more frequent bingers (95% CI 390,000 to 1.1 million). Non-Black, unmarried men under 30 years, who recently became unemployed, were at highest risk for frequent binging. Conclusion: During the Great Recession there was an increase in abstention from alcohol and a rise in frequent binging.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 23360873
Web of Science ID: 318548800013


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