Predictors of reported alcohol intake during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada among middle-aged and older adults: results from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Objective To examine proportions and predictors of change in alcohol intake and binge drinking during the first 2 waves of the COVID-19 pandemic among middle-aged and older participants in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) COVID-19 Questionnaire Study. Methods A total of 28,559 (67.2% of the potential sample) CLSA participants consented to the study with 24,114 completing the exit survey (fall 2020). Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions to examine predictors of change (increase or decrease) in alcohol intake and binge drinking were performed. Results Among alcohol users, 26.3% reported a change in alcohol consumption during the first 10 months of the pandemic. Similar percentages increased (13.0%) or decreased (13.3%) consumption. In our mutually adjusted logistic regression model, odds of change in alcohol intake were greater for younger age, higher income, current cannabis smoker, positive screen for depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The magnitude of all associations for decreased intake was less than that of increased intake, and the directions were opposite for male sex and age. Predictors of current binge drinking (27.9% of alcohol users) included male sex, younger age, higher education and income, cannabis use, depression, and anxiety. Conclusion Factors predictive of potentially worrisome alcohol use (i.e. increased intake, binge drinking) included younger age, sex, greater education and income, living alone, cannabis use, and worse mental health. Some of these factors were also associated with decreased intake, but the magnitudes of associations were smaller. This information may help direct screening efforts and interventions towards individuals at risk for problematic alcohol intake during the pandemic.

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publication date

  • October 2022