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Boys prone to high-intensity drinking than girls: study

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-08 11:09

About 2 percent of kids aged 14 to 16 years old in the United States report high-intensity drinking, drinking 10 or more drinks in a row in the last two weeks, a University of Michigan (UM) study shows.

UM associate professor Megan Patrick and colleagues reported in the study that about 1.2 percent of 8th graders reported high-intensity drinking while 3.1 percent of 10th-graders reported the same level of drinking. Extrapolating across the US population, it would mean about 40,000 8th-grade students and 113,000 10th-grade students use alcohol in this way.

The study uses data collected during 2016 from nationally representative samples of 8th- and 10th-graders, including 32,873 students from 252 schools.

The study also found that boys tend to participate in high-intensity drinking than girls, about 2.3 percent compared to 1.7 percent. High-intensity drinking was significantly higher among kids who had ever used marijuana or cigarettes.

For those who used marijuana, 8.1 percent drank heavily, compared to 0.5 percent who didn't use marijuana. About 9.8 percent of those who had smoked cigarettes reported high-intensity drinking, compared to 0.9 percent who had never smoked.

"High-intensity drinking is obviously concerning because this type of consumption raises adults' blood alcohol concentrations to at least four times the legal limit for driving," said Patrick. "Adolescents who engage in high-intensity drinking are at great risk for severe and life-threatening consequences of their alcohol use, such as drinking to the point of losing consciousness."

The study is the first to report the prevalence of this type of drinking among young adolescents, and has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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