Age at onset of alcohol consumption and its association with alcohol misuse in adulthood

Soo Y. Kim, Sung H. Jeong, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to explore the association between early age onset of alcohol consumption and alcohol misuse in adulthood. Methods: The study sample consisted of 16 829 individuals' (8349 males, 8435 females) survey responses obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) from 2016 through 2019. Alcohol dependence was measured using the AUDIT-C (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Consumption), and the ages at which alcohol consumption began were grouped into four categories: under 16, 16 to 18, 19 to 23, and over 24. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between current alcohol misuse and age at onset of alcohol consumption. Results: Compared to individuals who started drinking alcohol after the age of 24, those who began drinking alcohol before the age of 16 were more likely to score 8 or more on AUDIT-C questions (under 16: males, odds ratio [OR] 2.50, confidence interval [CI] 1.97–3.17; females, OR: 1.66, CI: 1.18–2.33). Similar to the main analysis, the earlier the onset of alcohol assumption starts, the more likely one is to develop alcohol misuse in adulthood according to subgroup analysis stratified by independent variables in both gender. Conclusion: The lower the age at the onset of alcohol consumption, the higher the likelihood of alcohol misuse in adulthood. While both males and females showed the same trend in response to the AUDIT-C questions, males tended to have a stronger association between early onset alcohol consumption and alcohol misuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Neuropsychopharmacology Reports published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of The Japanese Society of Neuropsychopharmacology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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