Trends in alcohol use among young people according to the pattern of consumption on starting university: A 9-year follow-up study

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Abstract

© 2018 Moure-Rodriguez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creativ e Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Aim To identify differences in Risky Consumption (RC) and Binge drinking (BD) trends in students who already followed these patterns of alcohol consumption on starting university and those who did not, and also to try to understand what leads students to engage in these types of behaviour at university. Material and methods Cohort study among university students in Spain (n = 1382). BD and RC were measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test at ages 18, 20, 22, 24 and 27 years. Multilevel logistic regression for repeated measures was used to calculate the adjusted Odds Ratios (ORs). Results The prevalence rates of RC and BD were lower throughout the study in students who did not follow these patterns of consumption at age 18. For RC and BD, the differences at age 27 years, expressed as percentage points (pp), were respectively 24 pp and 15 pp in women and 29 pp and 25 pp in men. Early age of onset of alcohol use increased the risk of engaging in RC and BD patterns at university, for men (OR = 2.91 & 2.80) and women (OR = 8.14 & 5.53). The same was observed in students living away from the parental home for BD (OR = 3.43 for men & 1.77 for women). Only women were influenced by having positive expectancies for engaging in RC (OR = 1.82) and BD (OR = 1.96). Conclusions The prevalence rates of both RC and BD at age 27 years were much higher among university students who already followed these patterns of consumption at age 18 years, with the differences being proportionally higher among women. Focusing on the age of onset of alcohol consumption and hindering access to alcohol by minors should be priority objectives aimed at preventing students from engaging in these patterns of alcohol consumption at university.

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Moure-Rodriguez, L., Carbia, C., Lopez-Caneda, E., Varela, M. C., Cadaveira, F., & Caamaño-Isorna, F. (2018). Trends in alcohol use among young people according to the pattern of consumption on starting university: A 9-year follow-up study. PLoS ONE, 13(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193741

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