Some Groups in Low-Income Neighborhoods at Increased Risk for Problem Drinking

Adults living in low-income neighborhoods are generally more likely to be non-drinkers, compared with people living in higher income areas—except for black and Hispanic men, a new study concludes.

The study of almost 14,000 adults found among people who drink, black adults in low-income neighborhoods are more likely than those in wealthier areas to be heavy drinkers, HealthDay reports. Black men and white women from low-income neighborhoods who drink are more likely than their wealthier peers to suffer drinking-related consequences, the study found. These include fights, run-ins with the police and trouble at work.

“There are a lot of aspects of your environment that can affect your drinking behavior and what happens when you do choose to drink,” lead researcher Katherine Karriker-Jaffe of the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, California, said in a journal news release. Although low-income neighborhoods may have many places to obtain alcohol, a person may drink less because they may not be able to afford alcohol, or they may have cultural beliefs that discourage drinking, she said.

Karrifer-Jaffe said increased levels of drinking in black men may be related to the high levels of stress in their lives.

The study is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.