The Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey: Alcoholic Beverage Preference Across Hispanic National Groups

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Abstract

Background

U.S. Hispanics come from many countries in Latin America, which can lead to different beverage preferences in the United States. This paper examines choice for drinking wine, beer, and liquor across 4 Hispanic national groups: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and South/Central Americans.

Methods

A sample of 5,224 individuals 18 years of age and older was selected using multistage cluster procedures from the household population in 5 metropolitan areas of the United States: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles. The survey weighted response rate was 76%. Face-to-face interviews lasting 1 hour on average were conducted in the respondents' homes either in English or Spanish.

Results

Among men, beer drinkers consume the highest mean number of drinks per week in all national groups. Among women, this is true only of Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans. Among men who drink beer, beer drinking constitutes 52 to 72% of total alcohol consumption. Among women who drink beer, beer consumption is associated with 32 to 64% of total consumption. Beer is the beverage most associated with binge drinking among Puerto Rican and Mexican American women, while among Cuban Americans and South/Central Americans this is seen for wine. Regression analyses showed no significant differences by national group in the likelihood of drinking 2 or fewer drinks (vs. no drinks) of wine, beer, or liquor. Puerto Ricans were more likely (OR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.00–2.14) than Cuban Americans to drink 3 or more drinks (compared with no drinks) of beer. There was no association between the likelihood of binge drinking and Hispanic national group.

Conclusions

Beverage preference across Hispanic national groups is similar. Beer is the preferred beverage. Alcohol control policies such as taxation and control of sales availability should apply equally to beer, liquor, and wine. Prevention interventions directed at different Hispanic national groups in the United States can be relatively uniform in their focus on the dangers associated with drinking different types of alcoholic beverages.

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