Frequency of Alcohol Consumption Up During Pandemic

Frequency of Alcohol Consumption Up During Pandemic

(HealthDay News) — There has been an increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online Sept. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Michael S. Pollard, Ph.D., from RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and colleagues examined changes in alcohol use and associated consequences in U.S. adults from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were included from 1,540 adults who completed a survey in April 29 to June 9, 2019, and in May 28 to June 16, 2020.

The researchers observed an increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption overall (0.74 days, representing a 14 percent increase over the baseline of 5.48 days). They also observed an increase among women (0.78 days, representing a 17 percent increase over the baseline of 4.58 days); among adults aged 30 to 59 years (0.93 days, representing a 19 percent increase over the baseline of 4.98 days); and for non-Hispanic Whites (0.66 days, representing a 10 percent increase over the baseline of 6.46 days). On average, three of four adults consumed alcohol one day more per month. For women, the investigators observed a significant increase of 0.18 days of heavy drinking, representing a 41 percent increase from baseline of 0.44 days. There was an average increase of 0.09 noted in the Short Inventory of Problems scale for women.

“This information suggests another way that the pandemic may be affecting the physical and mental health of Americans,” Pollard said in a statement.

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