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Friday, October 7, 2011

Doctors Don't Ask Younger Patients About Alcohol

Alcohol misuse and abuse with young adults and teenagers is a major concern for health officials across America due to the fact that doctors often fail to ask their younger patients about their alcohol use, according to a new study. Despite alcohol's legality, it is extremely hard on the body and the potential for addiction is extremely high amongst people who consume it regularly. The findings come from a new study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

More than 4,000 adults ages 18 to 39 took part in the survey, of which two-thirds had seen a doctor in the past year. Of those subjects whose drinking was classified as excessive, only 49 percent said their doctor inquired about their drinking and only 14 percent were counseled about it.

According to NIAAA guidelines:
  • men should drink no more than four drinks per day
  • men should have no more than 14 drinks in a week
  • women should not have more than three drinks per day
  • women should have no more than seven drinks per week

The study found:
  • 16 percent of young adults were nondrinkers
  • 24 percent drank at or below the recommended limits
  • 47 percent drank more than the recommended daily or weekly limits
  • 13 percent exceeded both limits

“Physicians should routinely ask all adults about their drinking and offer advice about levels that pose health risk, particularly to young adults,” the researchers write in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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