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Is early alcohol consumption related to adult alcohol use?

A paper examined whether early alcohol consumption is related to adult alcohol consumption and self-reported health. 1,083 people drawn from the Northern Swedish Cohort study were tracked from the age of 16 years in 1981 to the age of 43. Alcohol consumption at age 16 was the independent measure. Dependent measures included the level of alcohol consumption at age 43 years and selfreported health status. Socio-demographic control variables included parental relationship status, occupational status and employment, as well as the respondent’s smoking status and level of social alienation.

Women who drank alcohol at greater amounts at age 16 were more likely to drink at a higher level at age 43. No relationship was found between male consumption at age 16 and health or alcohol consumption at age 43. Alcohol consumption at age 16 was not significantly related to self-reported health at age 43 after other background variables had been controlled. The authors conclude that these results partially support previous research indicating an association between adolescent and longer-term adult drinking and health, but also highlight the importance of examining the role of socio-demographic factors as influential confounding variables.

Source: Is early alcohol consumption related to adult alcohol use? Longitudinal analyses based on the Northern Sweden Cohort. Delfabbro P; Hammarstrom A International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research Vol 3, No 4, 2014, pp227-233.

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