Binge Drinking—A Predictor for or a Consequence of Unemployment?
Reprint requests: Mona C. Backhans, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Norrbacka floor 4, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden; Tel.: +46852486374; Fax: +468334333; E-mail: Mona.firstname.lastname@example.org
Research on the association between alcohol use and unemployment has been conducted in various settings and subgroups. While most studies confirm that problem use is related to subsequent unemployment, results are inconclusive regarding the reverse association. Few studies have analyzed binge drinking as either a predictor or an outcome.
This study investigates 13,031 residents in Stockholm county, who participated in a 2002 survey with a follow-up in 2007, aged 20 to 59, and currently employed or on leave at T1. Associations between frequency of binge drinking and total unemployment duration in 2003 to 2006 were assessed using logistic regression, taking previous binge drinking and previous unemployment experience into account.
After full adjustment, high frequency of binge drinking (1 per week or more) had a nonsignificant association with any subsequent unemployment for men and women and a significant association with long-term unemployment (>6 months) for women (OR 1.87). For men, both short-term unemployment and long-term unemployment were unrelated to later binge drinking after adjustment for previous binge drinking. Associations were stronger for women, but not significant in the full model.
Frequent binge drinking among women was associated with long-term unemployment. There was little support for the social causation hypothesis.