Drunkenness and its association with health risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults in three Asian cities: Hanoi, Shanghai, Taipei

Qianqian Zhu, Chaohua Lou, Ersheng Gao, Yan Cheng, Laurie S. Zabin, Mark R. Emerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To assess the prevalence of drunkenness among adolescents in Hanoi, Shanghai, and Taipei and explore the association between heavy drinking and other health risk behaviors. Methods: The data are drawn from the Three-city Collaborative Study of Adolescent Health, conducted in Hanoi, Shanghai, and Taipei in 2006. A sample of 17,016 adolescents and young adults, aged 15-24 years, was selected by multistage sampling. Descriptive analysis was used to estimate the proportion of drunkenness and other health risk behaviors. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate relationships between drunkenness and risky health behaviors. Results: The proportions of the sample getting drunk during the past month were 6.36%, 4.53%, and 8.47% in Hanoi, Shanghai, and Taipei, respectively. More males than females reported drunkenness in all three cities, with the difference highest in Hanoi (11.08% vs. 1.14%) and lowest in Taipei (9.69% vs. 7.18%). Different levels of relationship between drunkenness and health risk behaviors, such as anxiety, suicidal ideation, smoking, gambling, fighting, drinking and driving, and having sexual intercourse, were found across the three cities; an exception was nonuse of contraception. Conclusion: Drunkenness was positively associated with many health risk behaviors. It may serve as an indicator of other risky behaviors. Interventions to reduce drinking and drunkenness may contribute considerably to the prevention of other risk behaviors and to adolescent safety and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015



  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol
  • Drunkenness
  • Eastern Asian city
  • Heath risk behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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