Objectives: We estimated adult binge drinking prevalence in US metropolitan areas.
Methods: We analyzed 1997 and 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for 120 metropolitan areas in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
Results: The prevalence of binge drinking varied substantially across metropolitan areas, from 4.1% in Chattanooga, Tenn, to 23.9% in San Antonio, Tex, (median = 14.5%). Seventeen of the 20 metropolitan areas with the highest estimates were located in the upper Midwest, Texas, and Nevada. In 13 of these areas, at least one third of persons aged 18 to 34 years were binge drinkers. There were significant intrastate differences for binge drinking among metropolitan areas in New York, Tennessee, and Utah.
Conclusions: Metropolitan-area estimates can be used to guide local efforts to reduce binge drinking.