Hawaii adults are more likely to binge drink — and drink more when they do

Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 at 5:07 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly 1 in 5 Hawaii adults are binge drinkers, a first-of-its-kind CDC study concludes. And those drinkers consume about 611 binge drinks a year.

That's the fifth-highest number in the country. Arkansas (841) took the no. 1 spot, while Mississippi (832) was in no. 2.

The study is aimed at highlighting the prevalence of binge drinking nationally — and its consequences. Binge drinking can result in dangerous driving, and risky sexual or violent behavior, researchers warn.

And over time, binge drinking increases the risk of serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease and liver failure.

The CDC defines binge drinking as drinking four or five drinks in a single sitting.

The new study found that in Hawaii, binge drinkers averaged 65 binge drinking episodes in year. And the average number of drinks they had during one of those episodes: 7.6.

Across the board, Hawaii fared worse in the study compared to national averages.

About 17 percent of U.S. adults are binge drinkers, the study found, while in Hawaii the figure was 20 percent. And Hawaii averaged 107 binge drinks per adult in Hawaii, compared to 77 for every adult in the US.

"This study shows that binge drinkers are consuming a huge number of drinks per year, greatly increasing their chances of harming themselves and others," said study co-author, Dr. Robert Brewer, lead researcher in CDC's alcohol program. "The findings also show the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to prevent binge drinking, focusing on reducing both the number of times people binge drink and the amount they drink when they binge."

For the report, CDC scientists analyzed data on self-reported binge drinking during the past 30 days from CDC's 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

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