Binge drinking, as defined by a higher occasional daily dose of alcohol consumed, is defined as 10 or more standard drinks per day. According to a new article by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, binge drinking is strongly related to mood and behavior abnormalities, as well as poorer quality of life.
‘Drinking alcohol on a consistent basis can be associated with cognitive impairment, depression and changes in emotional well-being. Understanding the factors that trigger increased symptoms of depression, anxiety and alcohol craving are important, and identifying candidate antidepressants might alleviate alcohol-related symptoms’, states first author of the study Manmeet Mehra, Ph. D., President of Center of Addiction Research in Zurich, Switzerland.
The researchers have conducted an observational study based on outpatient visits in Zurich of 1, 488 five-year-old children and adolescents abused as a result of their alcohol consumption.
A total of 500 participants were seen in outpatient clinics suffering from alcohol-related mood disorders such as depression, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Stratified by sex and age, the rate of alcohol-related mood disorders was similar among youths in general (n=464), alcohol dependent (n=221), alcohol use disorder (n=579) and binge drinkers (n=601).
Assessing moods and alcohol-related response.
The authors presented the results of the study to help determine the association between low levels of alcohol use in childhood (age 12 years) and moderate-level and excessive alcohol intake (age 21 years) in adolescence and the onset of alcohol use disorders in young adulthood. The authors asked a modified 13-item questionnaire to assess mood symptoms of adolescents (between 12-17 years) as well as the frequency of binge drinking in the past month.
Sixty-two percent of the participants studied did not report binge drinking every day. However, they reported having binge drinking at some point over 30 times per week. Moderate heavy drinking was defined as 10 weekly or more standard drinks per day for youth age 14 years and young adults. Severe drinking episodes were defined as two or more standard drinks per day per week, and binge drinking episodes were defined as 10 or more standard drinks per day per week.
Binge drinking and mood disordersEveryday binge drinking was defined by a standard frequency of binge drinking of 10 or more standard drinks per favourite drink. Each classic or extreme standard drink was categorically matched with a photo ubiquitous duet. A total of 40 participants (53 binge drinkers, 76 non-binge drinkers) was selected to participate in the study. Alcohol-related mood disorders were observed through questionnaires and clinical assessments.
Responses to presenting with alcohol-related mood disorders and a response dose of alcohol were assessed by Bifuridine Coma Scale Inventory (BCSI), a factor this assesses the effects of alcohol on mood, self-esteem and fear of the alcohol.
To minimize selection bias in this analysis, only alcohol-exposed individuals exhibited a response dose of alcohol equivalent to or greater than the equivalent of 51 g per standard drinks (55 milliliters) per day.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed through questionnaires and mood and affective symptoms were assessed through questionnaires and health questions regarding problem involvement, severity of distress and response to certain treatments.
Major depression and anxiety scores were measured both before and one month after treatment with alcoholCreator and severity scores assessed by self-report were assessed by two methods (one questionnaire; self-report and two medical exams; preventive cardiopulmonary exercise tests)
Sampling alcohol well beyond a daily limit was defined by a daily ‘average’ daily drinking dose of 12 standard drinks (the maximum daily intake percentage of alcohol). Medical exams, questionnaires and health questionnaires revealed greater than 50% change in mood scores.
Studies of cognitive decline in alcohol use disorder: A retrospective study of 45 children.
While the results show increased alcohol-related mood disorders in adolescent binge drinkers, impulsivity was not assessed, therefore the results cannot support a causal effect.
Medical assessment of mood and alcohol-related response were considered to support alcohol-related mood disorders in adolescents, but not in the present study.
Future clinical studies in this population are needed to investigate whether increased symptoms of fatigue and anxiety are linked to increased alcohol-related mood disorders in human youth.