CARBC research: Many more young Canadians at risk of alcohol-related harms

Many more young people are at risk of harm from alcohol than previously estimated shows a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health by researchers at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC).

The CARBC analysis shows as many as 60 per cent of 18-24 year old drinkers were consistently drinking above national low-risk drinking guidelines (LRDG) for daily consumption. The study, which corrects survey results for under-reporting, also shows that nearly 40 per cent of all Canadian drinkers exceeded daily drinking limits set to minimize short-term harms, and 27 per cent exceeded weekly limits to minimize risk for long-term health problems.

The national guidelines, in place since 2011, set a daily limit of three standard drinks for women and four for men to minimize short-term health impacts of drinking such as accidents, injuries and acute illnesses. They set a weekly maximum of 10 drinks for women and 15 drinks for men to minimize risk of long-term health impacts such as cancer and liver disease.

New methods developed by CARBC and released in 2014, used a national sample of 43,242 Canadians aged 15 years and older to analyze and correct for under-reporting in alcohol surveys. Under-reporting was rife in all age groups, but was most pronounced among younger drinkers.

Read the full press release.

To read the abstract of the report An adaptation of the Yesterday Method to correct for under-reporting of alcohol consumption and estimate compliance with Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines: