Is Binge Drinking a Risk Factor for Diabetes in Middle Aged Males?




Bengston, Emily
Runeberg, Taylor
Armstrong, Hailey
Dorth, Jaime
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: Diabetes is a major health issue in the United States with multiple behavioral and genetic risk factors, but little is known about the relationship between binge drinking and the development of diabetes in different age and gender groups. The purpose of this study was to assess whether binge drinking is a risk factor for diabetes in middle aged males. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the 2014 BRFSS for males aged 30-50 from Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee. The relationship between diabetes status and binge drinking was analyzed using multiple logistic regression controlling for age, ethnicity/race, educational level (SES), weight status, exercise, and smoking status. Results: Few participants in the target population reported ever being diagnosed with diabetes (7-9%), and about one-fifth reported binge drinking (19-24%). After controlling for behavioral risk factors and demographics, binge drinking and diabetes were not significantly related in any state, but obesity was positively related (large effect size) to diabetes in three of four states. Conclusions: Overall, binge drinking was not related to diabetes in middle aged men but was significantly related to weight status. While this study is restricted by cross sectional study design and limited measurement of variables, it is recommended that practitioners understand the relationship between diabetes and obesity and educate their patients about the many comorbid and detrimental effects it can have on a patient’s overall health. Additionally, because one in five participants reported binge drinking, patient education about the health risks associated with excessive drinking should continue to occur by practitioners.