Drinking Levels, Knowledge, And Associated Characteristics, 1985 Nhis Findings
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Drinking Levels, Knowledge, And Associated Characteristics, 1985 Nhis Findings

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      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Several questions in the 1985 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Questionnaire, which was part of the 1985 National Health Interview Survey, addressed respondents' consumption of alcohol. Sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge of health risks related to heavy drinking, health practices, and the prevalence of certain health conditions were examined in relation to drinking levels. Although cause-effect relationships should not be inferred from the associations, the findings suggest some provocative areas for prevention and research. Heavier drinkers were more commonly found among men than women. Level of drinking was associated positively with years of education and family income, but was inversely related to age. Compared with light drinkers, heavier drinkers were much more likely to drive after they had had too much to drink. While more than 90 percent of the population knew that heavier drinking increases the risk of 'liver cirrhosis, less than half knew about the increased risk of throat cancer and cancer of the mouth. Most respondents aged 18-44 years (80 percent or more) knew that heavy drinking increases the chance of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and more women than men (62 versus 49 percent) had heard of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). However, 70 percent or more of those who had heard of FAS described the syndrome as a newborn addicted to alcohol rather than a child born with certain birth defects. Heavier drinkers of both sexes were less likely than others to be nonsmokers, and moderate drinkers were more likely than others to exercise or play sports regularly. Moderate drinkers also tended to have lower lifetime prevalence rates than others for hypertension and heart trouble.
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