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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 930795, 7 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Correlates of Binge Drinking among Young Adults Using Alcohol: A Cross-Sectional Survey

1Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Milano Bicocca, Via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
2Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, Charles Bell House, 67–73 Riding House Street, London W1W7EJ, UK

Received 28 February 2014; Accepted 17 June 2014; Published 30 June 2014

Academic Editor: Giovanni Martinotti

Copyright © 2014 Francesco Bartoli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Although binge drinking prevalence and correlates among young people have been extensively studied in the USA and Northern Europe, less is known for Southern Europe countries with relatively healthier drinking cultures. Objective. We aimed at analyzing prevalence and correlates of binge drinking in a representative sample of young adults in Italy. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among alcohol-consuming young adults. We carried out univariate and multivariate analyses to assess associations between recent binge drinking and candidate variables. Results. We selected 654 subjects, with 590 (mean age: 20.65 ± 1.90) meeting inclusion criteria. Prevalence for recent binge drinking was 38.0%, significantly higher for females than males. Multivariate analysis showed that high alcohol expectancies, large amount of money available during the weekend, interest for parties and discos, female gender, cannabis use, influence by peers, and electronic cigarettes smoking all were significantly associated with recent binge drinking, whereas living with parents appeared a significant protective factor. Conclusions. More than a third of young adults using alcohol are binge drinkers, and, in contrast with findings from Anglo-Saxon countries, females show higher risk as compared with males. These data suggest the increasing importance of primary and secondary prevention programmes for binge drinking.