Background: We aimed to describe gender and region differences in the prevalence of binge drinking and in the association between binge drinking and well-being, among older adult Europeans. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) wave 4, conducted between 2011 and 2012, including 58 489 individuals aged 50 years or older. Sixteen European countries were grouped in four drinking culture regions: South, Central, North and East. We categorized drinking patterns as: never, former, no-binge and binge drinkers. We used the CASP-12 questionnaire to measure well-being. To assess the association between binge drinking and well-being, we fitted two-level mixed effects linear models. Results: The highest percentage of binge drinkers was found in Central Europe (17.25% in men and 5.05% in women) and the lowest in Southern Europe (9.74% in men and 2.34% in women). Former, never and binge drinkers had a significant negative association with well-being as compared with no-binge drinkers. There was a significant interaction in this association by gender and region. Overall, associations were generally stronger in women and in Southern and Eastern Europe. The negative association of binge drinking with well-being was especially strong in Southern European women (ß =-3.80, 95%CI: -5.16 to-2.44, P value <0.001). Conclusion: In Southern and Eastern European countries the association between binge drinking and well-being is stronger, especially in women, compared with Northern and Central Europe. Cultural factors (such as tolerance to drunkenness) should be further explored.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health