Alcohol consumption among university students: a Sino-German comparison demonstrates a much lower consumption of alcohol in Chinese students|
Chu, Janet Junqing; Jahn, Heiko J.; Khan, Mobarak Hossain & Kraemer, Alexander
Background: Alcohol use is reported in university students with discrepancy between countries. The study
objectives were to assess prevalence and associated factors of alcohol consumption among university students in
Germany and China.
Methods: Data used were from 1853 Chinese and 3306 German university students. Alcohol consumption
frequency was measured by a question “How often did you drink alcohol in the last three months?” with six
possible responses, which were later collapsed into three categories of “At least once a week”, “Less than once a
week” and “Never”. Problem drinking was measured by the CAGE test and defined as a CAGE score of two or more
(four as the maximum). Simple and multivariable logistic regressions were used for association analyses.
Results: German students reported more often “At least once a week” drinking (59.8 vs. 9.0 %). Among Germans,
women drank less often “At least once a week” (OR = 0.40, 0.30–0.53). Among Chinese, a higher BMI was associated
with drinking “At least once a week” (OR = 1.09, 1.02–1.18). Age revealed a positive association with “At least once a
week” drinking in Chinese (1.33, 1.21–1.46) but a negative association in Germans (OR = 0.97, 0.94–0.99). Having a
father with high educational level was positively related to “At least once a week” drinking in both countries (OR =
4.25, 2.67–6.78 for Chinese; OR = 1.32, 1.01–1.72 for Germans). Doing less than once a week physical exercise was
negatively associated with “At least once a week” drinking in Chinese and German students (OR = 0.27, 0.15–0.48 for
Chinese; OR = 0.69, 0.49–0.96 for Germans). Among the German students, 20.3 % reported problem drinking. Being
a female (OR = 0.32, 0.26–0.40) and performing less than once a week physical activity (OR = 0.73, 0.56–0.95) were
negatively associated with problem drinking, while having a father with high educational level (OR = 1.32, 1.09–1.60)
and experiencing higher level of perceived stress (OR = 1.08, 1.04–1.13) were positively related to problem drinking.
Conclusions: Country-specific strategies for reducing alcohol consumption, e.g. educational awareness
programmes of alcohol use on Chinese campuses and alcohol prevention schemes among German youth before
entering university, are sensible.
Alcohol consumption; Students’ health; University students; Chinese students; German students