Details of Publication 829 for Project A329:

Powers J, Duffy L, Burns L & Loxton D. Binge drinking and subsequent depressive symptoms in young women in Australia. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2016; 161: 86-94

Background: The long-term impact of binge drinking on subsequent depressive symptoms is unclear.The aims were to identify longitudinal patterns of binge drinking and whether binge drinking preceded depressive symptoms in the short-term (1–6 years) and long-term (10–15 years).Methods: Longitudinal data from 1996, 2000 and 2009 mailed surveys of 8,197 women in the 1973–78cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Latent class analysis was used to identify binge drinking patterns and logistic regression to estimate associations with subsequent depressive symptoms.Results: Five binge drinking trajectories were identified with predicted proportions of women who were very infrequent (24%), fluctuating infrequent (17%), frequent (17%), very frequent (26%) or extremely frequent binge drinkers (16%) between 16 and 21 years. At 22–27 years, depressive symptoms were significantly higher for extremely frequent binge drinkers (31% versus 21% in the short-term; 22% versus16%-18% in the long-term) than for less frequent bingers. Unadjusted odds of depressive symptoms were1.70 (95%CI:1.38;2.08) times for extremely frequent binge drinkers than very infrequent bingers andwere 1.30 (95%CI:1.04;1.63) after adjusting for demographics, relationships and experience of violence. At 31–36 years, the odds of depressive symptoms were 1.34 (95%CI:1.09–1.64) times for extremely frequent than very infrequent binge drinkers, but were not significant after adjusting for relationships and violence.Conclusions: Extremely frequent binge drinking (more than weekly) in late adolescence appears to elevate the risk of subsequent depressive symptoms in young women in their early twenties and thirties,emphasising the need for preventive strategies to curb binge drinking.