Prevalence and predictors of drinking, binge drinking, and related health and social problems in Puerto Rico

Raul Caetano, Patrice A C Vaeth, Glorisa Canino

6 Scopus citations


Background: This paper examines prevalence and predictors of drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol-related social and health problems in Puerto Rico. Methods: Respondents constitute a multi-stage household probability sample (N = 1,510) from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The response rate was 83%. Results: Men compared to women (Coeff:.34; 95 CI =.19–.50; p <.001), those with more liberal norms (Coeff: 1.05; 95 CI =.87–1.23; p <.001) and those with more positive attitudes about drinking (Coeff: 1.06; 95 CI=.63–1.49; p <.001) have a higher average number of weekly drinks. Those in the 40–49 age group have a lower mean number of weekly drinks than those in the 18–29 age group (Coeff.: −.23; 95 CI = −.42–.03; p <.02). Those with income between $30,001 and $40,000 a year compared to those with less than $10,000, (OR:.28; 95 CI =.08–1.93; p <.039) report fewer social/health problems. Protestants compared to Catholics (AOR: 1.94; 95 CI = 1.08–3.47; p <.026), those with more liberal drinking norms (AOR: 3.62; 95 CI = 1.87–6.99; p <.001) and more positive attitudes about drinking (AOR: 3.41; 95 CI = 1.04–11.09; p <.001), and those who consume a higher number of drink per week (AOR: 1.03; 95 CI = 1.01–1.05; p <.001) and binge (AOR: 3.52; 95 CI = 2.14–5.80; p <.001) are more likely to report social and health problems associated with alcohol use. Discussion and Conclusions: The finding that male gender is not associated with binge drinking and social and health problems was not expected. Puerto Ricans appear to drink less than the general population and Hispanics and Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland. Scientific Significance: Up to date epidemiological findings provide information about high risk groups and correlates of alcohol problems in the population. These are now available for Puerto Rico and can be used in the design of prevention interventions. (Am J Addict 2016;25:478–485).


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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