A study published in the journal Addiction prove that birthday celebrations may be a little more dangerous than fun for some. Young adults who choose to drink on their birthday are winding up on a hospital gurney more and more.
Binge drinking and birthdays
Binge drinking is extremely common among young adults. It is especially prevalent during birthday celebrations, usually with the birthday boy or girl drinking the most. Researchers have conducted many studies on binge drinking and recently began examining certain time periods associated with higher drinking rates, like spring break. Among all the celebrations correlated to binge drinking, the most notable is a person’s 21st birthday. Researchers called this “extremely extreme” binge drinking. A 2005 study published in the Journal of American College Health and conducted by researchers from the University of Houston revealed that 70 percent of U.S. adults turning 21 binge drink on their birthday.
The study authors from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health chose to investigate the birthdays of young adults and examine the correlation between hospital admissions and drinking rates from 2002 to 2007 among adolescents between 12 and 30 years old. The researchers used the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average intervention to evaluate whether alcohol use increased in birthday weeks per 1000 in-patient emergency department admissions.
Participants ranged in age from 12 to 30 years old. The researchers collected data from 170 local Ontario facilities, from the Canadian Institute for Health Information Hospital Morbidity Database and the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System. The group identified alcohol use disorders by situations that could be classified using an ICD-10 code.
Legal drinking is dangerous drinking
Researchers stated the largest increase in binge drinking was in birthday celebrations for age 19 – the legal drinking age in Canada. During birthday weeks for age 19, researchers stated there were 33 additional ED admissions. The second largest spike in admissions were between 20 and 22 years of age, followed by 23 to 26 years of age and 30 years of age. The study also showed that spikes in admission rates were as early as 16?-years-old for men and 14-years-old for women. However the rise in admission rates were smaller in young women than in men.
The researchers believed their findings indicate the health consequences associated with birthday-related drinking. They hoped the results will trigger vario