Association of self-reported health with alcohol consumption: a study conducted among Chinese and Canadian middle-aged and older adults

Abstract

There has been lack of studies that examine the relationship between self-rated health (SRH) and alcohol consumption, particularly in middle-aged and older adult populations. This study aims to investigate association of SRH status with alcohol consumption in middle-aged and older adult populations. The study is a cross-sectional study design that was based on the China Health and Retired Longitudinal study (CHARLS) and the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Monitoring Survey (CADUMS) and the Canadian Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Survey (CTADS). Measure of health is SRH status and self-reported alcohol use. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to model the data and the odds ratio of self-reported excellent, very good, good and fair (versus poor) for current and former drinkers versus nondrinkers and current drinkers versus former drinkers was estimated in models after adjusting for covariates. This study found that in both Chinese and Canadian adult populations, current drinkers reported better health status than former drinkers; lifetime nondrinkers reported better health status than former drinkers. Current drinkers reported better health status than nondrinkers. Canadian moderate drinkers (1.3–44 g per day) tended to report better health compared with occasional drinkers and Chinese heavy drinkers (45 + grams per day) reported better health status compared with occasional drinkers in both populations. This study found current drinkers tended to have better health status than former drinker and lifetime nondrinkers in adult populations. Nondrinkers tended to report better health status than former drinkers. Low and medium drinkers reported better health status.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Health Canada, Statistics Canada and China Center for Economic Research Institute of Social Science Survey of Peking University who allowed us to use the data for this study.

Funding

This study was supported by Soochow University School of Public Health and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) of University of Victoria Endowment Fund.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors made contributions to conception and design of the study. JZ manipulated and analyzed the data of the CADUMS/CTADS and JZ, HS and XC manipulated and analyzed the data of CHARLS. JZ drafted the manuscript. All authors revised the manuscript critically for intellectual content and give final approval of the version to be submitted.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jinhui Zhao.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Research ethics committee review and approval were not required, as the public files of the CHARLS and the CADUMS/CTADS were analyzed from the Research Data Centre (RDC) of Statistics Canada at the University of Victoria. No personal data are available from these public databases.

Box I. Questions of self-reported health and alcohol consumption designed in Canadian Alcohol and Drug Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Survey (CTADS) and China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) survey

Box I. Questions of self-reported health and alcohol consumption designed in Canadian Alcohol and Drug Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Survey (CTADS) and China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) survey

Variables Questions Surveys
General health In general, would you say your health is excellent, very good, good, fair or poor? CADUMS/CTADS CHARLS
Alcohol use
 Lifetime nondrinker Have you ever had a drink?
 (1) Yes
 (2) No
CADUMS/CTADS
  Did you ever drink alcoholic beverages in the past? How often?
 (1) I never had a drink
 (2) I used to drink less than once a month
 (3) I used to drink more than once a month
CHARLS
 Former drinker Drinkers but not in the past year CADUMS/CTADS
CHARLS
Current drinker During the past 12 months, have you had a drink of beer, wine, liquor or any other alcoholic beverage? (1 = yes and 2 = no) CADUMS/CTADS
  Did you drink any alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, or liquor in the past year? How often?
 (1) Drink more than once a month
 (2) Drink but less than once a month
 (3) None of these
CHARLS
Types of beverage What type of alcoholic beverages did you drink? Liquor, wine, or beer? (code all that apply)
 (1) Liquor, including white liquor, whisky, and others
 (2) Beer
 (3) Wine or rice wine
CHARLS
 Drinking quantity in a day (1) The last time you drank liquor last year, how many liang of liquor did you drink? (1 liang = 50 cc/50 ml)
(2) The last time you drank beer last year, how many bottles of beer did you drink? (1 bottle = 2.5 mugs, 1 mug = 220 cc)
(3) The last time you drank it last year, how many liang of wine did you drink? (1 liang = 50 cc)
CHARLS
 Drinking frequency During the past 12 months, how often did you drink alcoholic beverages?
 (1) less than once a month
 (2) once a month
 (3) 2–3 times a month
 (4) once a week
 (5) 2–3 times a week
 (6) 4–6 times a week
 (7) every day
CADUMS/CTADS
 Drinking frequency How often did you drink liquor, including white liquor, whisky, and others per month in the last year? How many times per month did you drink beer in the last year? How often did you drink wine or rice wine per month in the last year?
 (1) Once a month
 (2) 2–3 times a month
 (3) Once a week
 (4) 2–3 times a week
 (5) 4–6 times a week
 (6) Once a day
 (7) Twice a day
 (8) More than twice a day
CHARLS
 Binge drinker How often in the past 12 months have you had 4 (women) 5 (men) or more drinks on one occasion?
 (1) Daily or almost daily
 (2) 2–5 times a week
 (3) Once a week
 (4) 2–3 times a month
 (5) Once a month
 (6) Less than once a month
 (7) Never
CADUMS/CTADS

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Zhao, J., Sun, H., Ma, Y. et al. Association of self-reported health with alcohol consumption: a study conducted among Chinese and Canadian middle-aged and older adults. China popul. dev. stud. 4, 58–97 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42379-020-00057-3

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Keywords

  • Self-reported heath
  • Alcohol
  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Odds ratio
  • Multinomial logistic model