To identify issues related to alcohol consumption among students from an inner city in Southeastern Brazil.
In this cross-sectional study, 638 students from 13 to 17 years old, of which 355 (55.6%) were girls, were randomly selected in 13/40 (32.5%) public schools from November 2009 to August 2010. A structured questionnaire was used to collect personal/family data, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to evaluate alcohol consumption. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression were used.
It was observed that 516 (80.9%) students have used alcohol in their lifetime, and 115 (18.4%) had hazardous drinking (AUDIT ≥ 8). By crude analysis, the hazardous drinking was associated with age range (16 - 17 years old), age at first alcohol consumption (≤ 12 years old), higher family income, conflicting family environment, absence of religion practice and parents that consume alcoholic beverages. By adjusted analysis, it was observed an association with the age at first alcohol consumption [≤ 12 years old, odds ratio (OR) = 2.5; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.4 - 4.4]. Active sex life was more frequent among those that have used alcohol in their lifetime (OR = 3.3; 95%CI 2.0 - 5.3). Under the influence of alcohol, 22/103 (21.4%) students have not always used condoms. Among all, 25.4% believe that there is no risk in drinking, and 98% had already bought alcoholic beverages. Having the desire to drink after watching alcoholic beverage advertisements was more frequent among adolescents who had already consumed these beverages (OR = 1.7; 95%CI 1.1 - 2.6).
The alcohol consumption is early and worrying among adolescents, emphasizing the need for awareness of students and their parents and carers to these risks, and also the compliance with the law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors.
Adolescent; Adolescent behavior; Adolescent health; Alcohol drinking; Risk factors; Unsafe sex