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Chinese Women's Drinking Patterns Before and After the Hong Kong Alcohol Policy Changes.

Wong, Eugene C; Kim, Jean H; Goggins, William B; Lau, Joseph; Wong, Samuel Y S; Griffiths, Sian M.
Alcohol Alcohol; 53(4): 477-486, 2018 Jul 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29939226

AIMS:

To examine the patterns of alcohol consumption in Hong Kong Chinese women before and after a period of major alcohol policy amendments.

SHORT SUMMARY:

This study compared alcohol consumption patterns in Hong Kong Chinese women before and after a period of major alcohol policy amendments and found increased drinking among certain subgroups, particularly middle-aged women. These increases are likely due to personal factors (e.g. changing perceptions) as well as environmental influences (e.g. greater marketing).

METHODS:

Cross-sectional telephone surveys were conducted on adult Chinese women prior to the 2007-2008 beer and wine tax eliminations in 2006 (n = 4946) and in 2011 (n = 2439).

RESULTS:

Over the study period, only women in the 36-45 year age stratum reported significant increases in all three drinking patterns: past-year drinking (38.1-45.2%), past-month binge drinking (2.3-5.2%) and weekly drinking (4.0-7.3%) (P < 0.05); middle-aged women, unemployed or retired women and those ascribing to alcohol's health benefits emerged as new binge drinking risk groups. In 2011, 3.5% of all drinking-aged women (8.8% of past-year drinkers, 20.7% of binge drinkers and 23.1% of weekly drinkers) reported an increased drinking frequency after the tax policy changes. The main contexts of increased drinking were social events and with restaurant meals; moreover, beliefs of alcohol's health benefits were common to all contexts of increased drinking. Of women who increased their drinking frequency, the largest proportion attributed it to peer effects/social environment conducive to drinking, and brand marketing/advertising influences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased drinking among certain subgroups of Hong Kong Chinese women may be due to combined influences of: increased societal acceptance of social drinking, aggressive marketing promotions and personal beliefs in the health benefits of drinking that have recently emerged in the region. Hence, multi-prong strategies are required to combat potential drinking harms in these women.
Selo DaSilva