Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

A retrospective analysis of ethnic and gender differences in alcohol consumption among emergency department patients: a cross-sectional study.



Previous studies of alcohol use have recognized several trends in consumption patterns among gender and age yet few have examined ethnic differences. This study examines the intra- and inter-ethnic differences in alcohol consumption among a population of patients seen in the emergency department.


This is a cross-sectional study conducted in the emergency department in a large urban setting. Information on drinking behavior and ethnicity was collected using the Computerized Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (CASI) tool. We explored differences in drinking patterns using a multivariate multinomial logistic regression model.


We analyzed the drinking habits of 2,444 patients surveyed between November 2012 and May 2014. The results indicate that when compared to non-Hispanic whites, Asians have the lowest odds of drinking within normal limits or excessively, followed by other Latinos, and Mexicans. Age and gender consistently showed statistically significant associations with alcohol-use. The odds of drinking within normal limits or excessively are inversely associated with age and were lower among females. The predicted probabilities show a marked gender-specific difference in alcohol use both between and within ethnic/racial groups. They also highlight an age-related convergence in alcohol use between men and women within ethnic groups.


The results of this study show intra-racial/ethnic variability associated with sex and education. The highlighted differences within and between ethnic groups reinforce the need to use refined categories when examining alcohol use among minorities.


The results of this study confirm some alcohol consumption trends among ethnic minorities observed in literature. It provides empirical evidence of the marked gender differences and highlights an age-related convergence for gender-specific alcohol use. Health-care personnel should be aware of these differences when screening and counseling.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View