DALLAS, July 22 (UPI) — Whites in the United States increased their alcohol consumption from 1992 to 2002 while blacks and Hispanics did not, researchers say.
Raul Caetano, professor of epidemiology and regional dean at The University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas, and colleagues used data from the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey and the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
“Whites increased their mean number of drinks while blacks and Hispanics did not,” Caetano says in a statement. “There was also a rise in drinking five or more drinks in a day across all three ethnic groups and drinking to intoxication among whites and blacks, but this was limited to those reporting such drinking at least once a month. This suggests a polarization in drinking between the two surveys, with those who drank more in 1992 reporting an increase in their drinking in 2002.”
The findings, published online ahead of print in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, suggest that while the proportion of black and Hispanic drinkers increased, the amount of alcohol consumed did not increase among blacks and Hispanics during the 10-year period.
Drinking appears to have become more liberal during the study period and this may explain why groups that traditionally did not drink — women and African-Americans — may have begun, the researchers say.
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