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Study Reveals 1 in 25 Middle Schoolers Binge Drink

Update Date: May 09, 2014 02:12 AM EDT

One in 25 middle school kids binge drink, according to a new study.
Researchers found that 4 percent of Canadians between the ages of 12 and 14 drank five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the previous year.
The latest study from the University of Toronto also revealed that teens with three or more chronic conditions are three times more likely to binge drink compared to those with no illnesses.
"We are particularly concerned that the young adolescents most likely to binge drink are those who have substantial physical health challenges" says lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Chair at the University of Toronto's Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. "Clearly, pediatricians and other health professionals need to be particularly attentive to screening for binge drinking in these vulnerable youth."
The study looked at various factors previously linked to binge drinking. Researchers studied data from a group of 6,172 Canadians between the ages of 12 and 14. Participants were from a larger study called the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey.
"We also found that youth with mood disorders had three times the odds of binge drinking, says co-author Matthew Sheridan, a manager at a children's mental health centre. "This should signal that mental health is an important factor to consider in targeting outreach for binge drinking prevention and cessation programs."
Researchers said the latest findings are worrying as drinking, especially binge drinking, increases the risk of alcohol-related injuries, accidental death, unsafe sexual behavior, and long-term substance abuse problems.
The findings were published recently in the journal ISRN Public Health.

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