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Temporal patterns of alcohol consumption and attempts to reduce alcohol intake in England

de Vocht, F; Brown, J; Beard, E; Angus, C; Brennan, A; Michie, S; Campbell, R; (2016) Temporal patterns of alcohol consumption and attempts to reduce alcohol intake in England. BMC Public Health , 16 , Article 917. 10.1186/s12889-016-3542-7. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Alcohol Toolkit Study (ATS) is a monthly survey of approximately 1700 adults per month aged 16 years of age or more in England. We aimed to explore patterns of alcohol consumption and motivation to reduce alcohol use in England throughout the year. METHODS: Data from 38,372 participants who answered questions about alcohol consumption (March 2014 to January 2016) were analysed using weighted regression using the R survey package. Questions assessed alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C) and attempts to reduce consumption. RESULTS: Sixty-seven percent of participants reported using alcohol, with a small negative trend of about 2 % reduction over 12 months in the studied period (P < 0.01). These include ~25 % higher risk drinkers and ~10 % regular binge drinkers. About 20 % of higher risk drinkers indicated they were attempting to reduce their alcohol consumption. Attempts were lowest in December (−20 %; 95 % CI 0–35 %), but increases significantly in January (+41 %; 95 % CI 16–73 %) compared with other months (P < 0.001), indicating a small net gain; at least in attempts to reduce. However, there was no evidence that the increased motivation in January was accompanied by a reported decrease in consumption or binge drinking events. This could be an artefact of the use of AUDIT questions, but could also reflect a disconnect between attempting to reduce alcohol consumption and subsequent change; maybe as a result of lack of continuing support. CONCLUSIONS: January is associated with moderate increased attempts to reduce alcohol consumption. However, we find little evidence of a change in alcohol consumption. In part, this may be due to temporal insensitivity of the AUDIT questions.

Type: Article
Title: Temporal patterns of alcohol consumption and attempts to reduce alcohol intake in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3542-7
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3542-7
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, PRIMARY-CARE PATIENTS, SEASONAL-VARIATION, GRADUATED-FREQUENCY, GENERAL-POPULATION, QUANTITY-FREQUENCY, SMOKING-CESSATION, DRINKING PATTERNS, RECALL PERIOD, USE DISORDERS, SELF-REPORTS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1514568
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