Important Facts for Alcohol Consumption - Binge Drinking
DefinitionBinge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. It is listed as the percentage of survey respondents who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.
NumeratorNumber of survey respondents who reported binge drinking during the 30 days prior to the survey.
DenominatorNumber of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure", or "Refused" responses.
Data Interpretation IssuesTo reduce bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS survey methodology changed. In 2009, the survey began including surveys on cellular phones in addition to landline phones. And a new weighting methodology, known as "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) was implemented. More details about these changes can be found at: [http://health.utah.gov/opha/publications/brfss/Raking/Raking%20impact%202011.pdf]. Because of these changes, differences in binge drinking rates across methodologies should be interpreted with caution. As with all surveys, some error results from nonresponse (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions), and measurement (e.g., social desirability or recall bias). Error was minimized by use of strict calling protocols, good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.
Why Is This Important?Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States and those who binge drink tend to do so frequently and with high intensity. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006-2010. Nationally, the economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion. Short-term health effects associated with excessive drinking include injuries from motor vehicle crashes or falls, violence in the form of sexual assault or suicide, alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviors, and miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women. Long-term health effects of excessive alcohol use include increased risk of high blood pressure, various cancers, learning and memory problems, mental health problems like depression and anxiety, social problems and alcohol dependence.
Healthy People Objective SA-14.3:Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past 30 days--adults aged 18 years and older
U.S. Target: 24.4 percent