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Alcohol use among young Australian adults in May-June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic: a prospective cohort study

Clare, PJ, Aiken, A, Yuen, WS, Upton, E, Kypri, K, Degenhardt, L, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, McCambridge, J, McBride, N, Hutchinson, D, Slade, T, Mattick, R and Peacock, A 2021 , 'Alcohol use among young Australian adults in May-June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic: a prospective cohort study' , Addiction , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1111/add.15599.

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Aims: To estimate change in young people's alcohol consumption during COVID-19 restrictions in Australia in early-mid 2020, and test whether those changes were consistent by gender and level of consumption prior to the pandemic.Design: Prospective longitudinal cohort.Setting: Secondary schools in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.Participants: Subsample of a cohort (n = 443) recruited in the first year of secondary school in 2010-11. Analysis data included three waves collected in September 2017-July 2018, September 2018-May 2019 and August 2019-January 2020), and in May-June 2020.Measurements: The primary predictors were time, gender and level of consumption prior to the pandemic. Outcome variables, analysed by mixed-effects models, included frequency and typical quantity of alcohol consumption, binge drinking, peak consumption, alcohol-related harm and drinking contexts.Findings: Overall consumption (frequency × quantity) during the restrictions declined by 17% [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.73, 0.95] compared to February 2020, and there was a 35% decline in the rate of alcohol-related harms in the same period (IRR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.54, 0.79). Changes in alcohol consumption were largely consistent by gender.Conclusions: From a survey of secondary school students in Australia, there is evidence for a reduction in overall consumption and related harms during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Clare, PJ and Aiken, A and Yuen, WS and Upton, E and Kypri, K and Degenhardt, L and Bruno, R and McCambridge, J and McBride, N and Hutchinson, D and Slade, T and Mattick, R and Peacock, A
Keywords: alcohol, COVID-19, epidemiology, prospective cohort, public health, young adults
Journal or Publication Title: Addiction
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0965-2140
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/add.15599
Copyright Information:

© 2021 Society for the Study of Addiction

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