Disparities in alcohol use: Does race matter as much as place?

Ruth G. Fesahazion, Roland J. Thorpe, Caryn N. Bell, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: National estimates of race differences in alcohol use suggest that whites are more likely to be current and binge users of alcohol. These findings fail to account for race differences in the social and environmental context where people live. This study aims to determine whether race disparities persist in alcohol use among individuals who share similar social and environmental conditions. Methods: We compared race disparities between individuals living in a low-income racially integrated urban community without race differences in socioeconomic status (EHDIC-SWB) to individuals from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS 2003) to determine if race disparities in alcohol use were attenuated in the integrated environment. Results: In the NHIS 2003 sample, compared to whites, African Americans had lower odds of being a current drinker (OR=0.56, 95% CI=0.49-0.64) and binge drinker (OR=0.68, 95% CI=0.58-0.80) independent of covariates. However in the EHDIC-SWB sample, African Americans had similar odds of being a current drinker (OR=0.94, 95% CI=0.67-1.33) and binge drinker (OR=1.02, 95% CI=0.77-1.35) compared to whites. Conclusions: Among individuals who share similar social and environmental risk exposures, race group differences in alcohol use patterns are similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-484
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Health status disparities
  • Social environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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