Health >> Alcohol >> Adults >> Adults: Age, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Language

Excessive drinking is most common among males and among young adults (18 to 24 years).

Excessive alcohol use is associated with many chronic health problems, including liver disease, inflammation of the pancreas, high blood pressure, stroke, and various cancers. It is also a factor in many injuries and acts of violence, and can harm a developing fetus. 

Averaging data from 2009 through 2011:

  • Excessive drinking in King County was inversely related to age. Compared to adults 65 and older, excessive drinking rates were:
    • 3.6 times greater for the youngest adults (18-24 years)
    • Almost 3 times greater for adults age 25-44
    • 2 times greater for adults age 45-64.
  •  Men were more likely than women to drink excessively.
  • Excessive drinking varied by race/ethnicity.
    • Asians were significantly less likely to drink excessively than all other racial/ethnic groups except Blacks. 
    • All other rates by race were similar to each other.
    • Because binge drinking rates vary widely by age, these rates were statistically adjusted for age.  This adjustment prevents groups with a smaller proportion of younger adults from erroneously appearing to have lower rates when comparing to groups with higher proportions of younger adults.