BACKGROUND: Some evidence suggests that in recent years the prevalence of heavy drinking has increased among Russian adolescents. However, as yet, little is known about either heavy alcohol consumption or its relationship with other adolescent health risk behaviours in Russia. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the association between binge drinking and health risk behaviours among adolescents in Russia.
METHODS: Data were drawn from the Social and Health Assessment (SAHA), a survey carried out in Arkhangelsk, Russia in 2003. Information was obtained from a representative sample of 2868 adolescents aged 13-17 regarding the prevalence and frequency of binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in a couple of hours) and different forms of substance use, risky sexual behaviour and violent behaviour. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between binge drinking and adolescent involvement in various health risk behaviours.
RESULTS: Adolescent binge drinking was associated with the occurrence of every type of health risk behaviour - with the sole exception of non-condom use during last sex. In addition, there was a strong association between the number of days on which binge drinking occurred and the prevalence of many health risk behaviours.
CONCLUSIONS: Binge drinking is associated with a variety of health risk behaviours among adolescents in Russia. Public health interventions such as reducing the affordability and accessibility of alcohol are now needed to reduce binge drinking and its harmful effects on adolescent well-being.
2013. Vol. 133, no 3, 838-44 p.