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Alcohol misuse is rare among Hong Kong medical students


Kathleen R. Rotheray BM, Visiting Scholar, Giles N. Cattermole BM BCh, Assistant Professor, Elizabeth C. H. Liow BMedSc, Medical Student, Peggy Machin BM BCh, Specialist Registrar, Colin A. Graham MD, Professor, Timothy H. Rainer MD, Professor and Director. Professor Timothy H. Rainer, Accident and Emergency Medicine Academic Unit, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Rooms 107/113, Trauma and Emergency Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China. Tel: +852 2632 1033; Fax: +852 2648 1469; E-mail:


Introduction and Aims.High rates of hazardous alcohol consumption have been reported among medical students in several countries. This study aimed to determine the degree of self-reported alcohol use among medical students in Hong Kong, and to compare this with published data from medical students elsewhere.

Design and Methods.111/137 (81%) final year medical students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong were recruited and anonymously completed the World Health Organization's Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a screening tool which assesses alcohol consumption, dependence and alcohol-related problems. Results are graded as low risk (score 1–7) or harmful and hazardous (8 or more).

Results.The rate of ever drinking among this group of Hong Kong medical students is relatively high (74%) but few students reported at-risk drinking patterns (1.8%). Most students who drank did so less than once per month and most reported typically drinking only one to two drinks when they did drink alcohol.

Discussion and Conclusions.While rates of alcohol drinking among this group of Hong Kong medical students are comparable to those reported in Europe and North America, rates of problem drinking are much lower.[Rotheray KR, Cattermole GN, Liow ECH, Machin P, Graham CA, Rainer TH. Alcohol misuse is rare among Hong Kong medical students. Drug Alcohol Rev 2011;30:685–688]