Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Addiction Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Background: Religious beliefs, access to alcohol and country rules clearly have impact on people's attitudes towards alcohol consumption. In this large study, sociological perspectives of people have been assessed about the effects of alcohol on some of common health problems.
Methods: In this survey, 143 real estate owners in city of Mashhad were randomly selected and asked to give our questionnaire to every person who comes to their office. In the questionnaire peoples' idea about the effects of alcohol on 10 medical and psychological issues including diabetes, hypertension, concentration, thinking, memory, sexual function, cerebrovascular diseases, food digestion, obesity and hyperlipidemia was investigated. The answers were determined according to Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Results: In total, 8768 subjects that most of them were men (89%) were studied. Mean (SD, Min-Max) age was 38 (9, 24-65). Among the users, 2% used alcohol in the past week, followed by 22% in the last month, 43% in the last year and 33% in more than 1 year ago. 50% were using handmade alcohols, 10% were using brand products and the rest both. It was found that people on average believe that alcohol use has negative impact on thinking (mean (SD) score of Likert = 1.3 (0.5)), memory (1.6 (0.6)), blood pressure (1.6 (0.5)) and obesity (1.8 (0.7)). On the other hand, they believed that alcohol use has positive impact on sexuality (2.6 (1.0)) and food digestion (2.6 (0.9)). Men believed more positively about alcohol impact on digestion (P < 0.001), thinking (P < 0.001), obesity (P < 0.001), sexuality (P = 0.007) and diabetes (P = 0.022) than women, and had less positive attitude with regards to blood pressure (P = 0.026) and attention (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: People should be educated about negative impacts of alcohol use on health. The preventive measures should be focused on special subpopulations such as men.

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