Problematic alcohol consumption, knowledge of recommended drinking limits, drinks, and health risks among future health professionals in Ifakara, Morogoro region, Tanzania
This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of alcohol use disorder, drinking attitude, knowledge of standard drinks and health risks associated with alcohol consumption among health science students in Ifakara town, Morogoro region in Tanzania.
This study was a cross-sectional survey conducted between June and October 2020 among 372 medicine and allied health students. Participants were selected from the study institutions using random sampling. Results were presented by descriptive statistics, chi- square (χ2) test for associations and logistics regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence (CI) for alcohol use disorder among participants.
The prevalence of alcohol consumption is 39.2% with males accounting a higher prevalence among drinkers (63.7%). Ages 21-25 accounted for the highest drinking prevalence (65.8% of drinkers). There were associations between drinking and gender (p=0.002), institution of study (p=0.000) and course of study (p=0.000). Ever drinkers were about 41% of respondents. The median age of first consumption is 20.0 (IQR: 17-22). The prevalence rates of AUD (AUDIT score greater than 8) is 16.4%. Women were significantly less likely than men to report AUD (OR=0.22, 95% CI (0.11-0.47), p<0.05). Over 60% of participants did not know the number of standard drinks in commonly sold alcoholic beverages in Tanzania.
The prevalence of alcohol consumption and hazardous drinking is high among health sciences students. There is also a poor knowledge of standard drinks and recommended drinking limits.
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