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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 804-808

A study on alcohol use and its related health and social problems in rural Puducherry, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College and Hospital, Perambalur, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Suresh Kumar Singh
Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Madagadipet, Puducherry - 605 107
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.201175

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Introduction: Harmful use of alcohol was the cause for 5.9% of all deaths and 5.1% of the global burden of disease and injury. India is the third largest market for alcoholic beverages in the world with estimated 62.5 million alcohol user in 2005. The objective of this study was to know the prevalence of alcohol consumption, pattern of drinking, and its effect on people's health and social consequences. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 850 households selected from 19 villages of two Primary Health Centers. A total of 30 clusters were selected, and from each cluster, 28 houses were surveyed by random walk method. Information was collected on predesigned and pretested questionnaire forms and analyzed using Epi Info 3.4.3. Chi-square test was used for statistical significance. Results: The overall prevalence of alcohol use among ≥18 years of age was 9.7% and exclusively among males was 17.1%. The highest prevalence (17.1%) was among 46–55 years age groups and the residents of joint families (37.0%). One-third of the users began drinking before 20 years of age and half of them consumed for getting relief from pain/strain/tiredness. About half of the users had strained relations with their family members and neighbors both. The majority had alcohol dependence problems and about one-fifth had chronic health problems, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Conclusion: The prevalence of alcohol use in Puducherry was low and restricted to males only. The prevalence was high among low uneducated farmers and labors. About one-third of users had alcohol dependence problems and one-fifth had chronic health problems.

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