Binge drinking defined

Benjamin Rolland, Ingrid de Chazeron, Françoise Carpentier, Fares Moustafa, Alain Viallon, Xavier Jacob, Patrick Lesage, Delphine Ragonnet, Annick Genty, Julie Geneste, Emmanuel Poulet, Maurice Dematteis, Pierre-Michel Llorca, Mickaël Naassila, Georges Brousse. Comparison between the WHO and NIAAA criteria for binge drinking on drinking features and alcohol-related aftermaths: Results from a cross-sectional study among eight emergency wards in France (2017). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 175, pages 92-98, ISSN 0376-8716,

The study focused on binge drinking (BD), defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as consuming 60 g or more of alcohol per occasion, and by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) as drinking 70 g (men) or 56 g (women) in less than two hours.

The research, conducted through an eight-centre cross-sectional study involving 11,695 subjects hospitalised in emergency wards, aimed to compare individuals identified by each definition. Participants completed various alcohol consumption questionnaires, and multinomial regression analyses were employed to examine the characteristics of subjects meeting the exclusive WHO criteria (BD1), the NIAAA criteria (BD2), and those with no binge drinking criteria (noBD).

The results indicated that BD2 subjects, identified by NIAAA criteria, were more frequently male, single, and unemployed compared to BD1 subjects. BD2 individuals reported higher alcohol consumption per occasion and more frequent heavy drinking. Additionally, BD2 subjects exhibited a higher prevalence of factors such as previous alcohol-related remarks from family, drinking on waking-up, and admission for psychiatric motives, suggesting that NIAAA criteria delineate individuals with more concerning drinking patterns and alcohol-related consequences compared to WHO criteria.