Binge drinking in Madrid, Spain.Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Oct; 31(10):1723-30.AC
In Mediterranean countries, the information on the prevalence of binge drinking and associated socio-demographic variables is very scarce. Moreover, there are no reported data on the amount of alcohol ingested and the type of beverage consumed during drinking episodes. This study describes the prevalence and characteristics of binge drinking in the adult population of Madrid, Spain.
Data were taken from a telephone survey conducted during the period 2000 to 2005 on 12,037 persons, representative of the population aged 18 to 64 years in the Madrid Region. Binge drinking was defined as the intake of >or=80 g of alcohol in men or >or=60 g in women, during any drinking session in the preceding 30 days. In this analysis, the threshold between moderate and heavy average weekly alcohol consumption was set at 40 g/d for men and 24 g/d for women.
Prevalence of binge drinking was 14.4% (95% confidence interval, CI: 13.5 to 15.3%) in men and 6.5% (95% CI: 5.8 to 7.1%) in women. Prevalence was higher among persons: in the youngest age group (30.8% among men and 18.2% among women aged 18 to 24 years); having the highest educational level (14.5% in male and 9.2% in female university graduates); and with a heavy average consumption of alcohol (55.3% in men and 50.0% in women). However, 3 of 4 binge drinkers of both sexes showed a moderate average consumption. Among binge-drinkers, average monthly episodes of binge drinking were 3.2 in men and 2.6 in women, with 5.4 and 2 episodes/person/year, respectively. During each episode, a mean of 119 g of alcohol was ingested by men and 83 g by women, with spirits accounting for 72% of total alcohol intake.
Prevalence of binge drinking is high in Madrid, particularly among younger men with higher education, and heavy average alcohol consumption. Binge drinking is characterized by frequent episodes, where large amounts of alcohol are ingested, mainly from spirits.