Aims: To investigate the prevalence of alcohol abuse in modern China and to explore the risk factors that may be associated with alcohol abuse.
Design: A face-to-face interview was carried out in a random sample with 2327 respondents.
Setting: Respondents were selected randomly from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, between May and June 2002. Participants Fifteen-65-year-old urban Chinese adults.
Measurements: Scores for alcohol abuse and related risk factors were the main measures.
Findings: (1) Nearly 15% of urban Chinese adults aged 15-65 were alcohol abusers. (2) Deviant drinking habits of mother, schoolmates, colleagues or friends all had a negative impact on the respondent's alcohol drinking behaviours, and higher economic status, current smokers, being male and being older were identified as risk factors related to alcohol abuse. In particular, if a drinker's mother used alcohol frequently then this drinker was more likely to become an alcohol abuser than those drinkers whose mothers did not use alcohol frequently (P = 0.0001). Fathers' drinking behaviours do not have a significant impact on the alcohol abusers.
Conclusions: In addition to common risk factors such as economic status, deviant peers' and fellows' drinking behaviours and negative attitudes to alcohol drinking, maternal alcohol drinking habit influenced significantly the offspring's drinking habits. Therefore, efficient intervention and education of healthy drinking habits in early motherhood is necessary for Chinese women.