Alcohol use, acculturation and socioeconomic status among Hispanic/Latino men and women: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

PLoS One. 2019 Apr 4;14(4):e0214906. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214906. eCollection 2019.


The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and patterns of alcohol use among U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults of diverse backgrounds. The population-based Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) enrolled a cohort of Hispanic/Latino adults (N = 16,415) ages 18-74 years at time of recruitment, from four US metropolitan areas between 2008-11. Drinking patterns and socio-demographics questionnaires were administered as part of the baseline examination. The relationship between age, sex, socio-demographics, acculturation, current alcohol use, and alcohol risk disorder, defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) [no risk (i.e., never drinker), low risk (i.e., women<7 drinks/week; men<14 drinks/week), and at-risk (i.e., women>7 drinks/week; men>14 drinks/week)] were assessed in unadjusted and adjusted multinomial logistic regression analyses. Men reported a higher prevalence than women of at-risk drinking. For women, increased odds of at-risk alcohol use was associated with: a younger age, greater education, full-time employment, and acculturation after adjustment. For men, having a lower income (vs. higher income) or a higher income (vs. not reported) and being employed fulltime (vs. retired) was associated with at-risk alcohol use. For both men and women, there were variations in odds of at-risk drinking across Hispanic/Latino heritage backgrounds, after adjustment. Exact values, odds ratios and p-values are reported within the text. Common factors across sex associated with at-risk drinking included being of Mexican background and being employed full-time. Intervention strategies should consider diversity within the Hispanic/Latino community when designing alcohol abuse prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult