(HealthDay News) — There has been an increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Network Open.

Michael S. Pollard, PhD, from RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and colleagues examined changes in alcohol use and associated consequences in US adults from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were included from 1540 adults who completed a survey in April 29 to June 9, 2019, and in May 28 to June 16, 2020.

The researchers observed an increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption overall (0.74 days, representing a 14% increase over the baseline of 5.48 days). They also observed an increase among women (0.78 days, representing a 17% increase over the baseline of 4.58 days); among adults aged 30 to 59 years (0.93 days, representing a 19% increase over the baseline of 4.98 days); and for non-Hispanic Whites (0.66 days, representing a 10% increase over the baseline of 6.46 days). On average, 3 of 4 adults consumed alcohol 1 day more per month. For women, the investigators observed a significant increase of 0.18 days of heavy drinking, representing a 41% increase from baseline of 0.44 days. There was an average increase of 0.09 noted in the Short Inventory of Problems scale for women.

“This information suggests another way that the pandemic may be affecting the physical and mental health of Americans,” Pollard said in a statement.


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Reference

Pollard MS, Tucker JS, Green Jr HD. Changes in adult alcohol use and consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 3(9). doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.22942