Risky Drinking & Poor Health Habits Related

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Risky drinking behaviors like frequent heavy drinking found to be associated with worse health-related practices among adults.

The Study

A study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research surveyed 7,884 people in order to examine the relationship between risky drinking behavior and health-related practices. The study defined risky drinkers in three different ways:

  1. People who consumed three or more drinks per day.
  2. Women who drank 4 or more drinks in one sitting or men who drank 5 or more.
  3. Those identified by a common screening tool as at-risk drinkers.

The results of the survey showed that those identified as risky drinkers reported attitudes and practices that may negatively impact their long-term health. In addition, people who drink at levels considered hazardous were less likely than other drinkers to seek routine medical care.

Lead study author Carla Green summarized the study's results: "The main finding here is that risky drinkers also engage in other behaviors--such as relieving stress with alcohol and cigarettes, not wearing seatbelts, unhealthy eating and not regularly seeing their doctors--that put their health at risk."

The study was published in the journal Addiction Research & Theory.

What Does This Mean?

The results of this study show that excessive drinking and alcoholism may be detrimental for a person's physical and mental health in ways beyond the direct effects of alcohol on the body. Concern about alcoholism shouldn't be limited just to heavy drinking; it should take into account the increased likelihood that those suffering from alcoholism will fail to care for themselves in other ways as well.

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