It's common for American high school seniors to binge on alcohol, and some have as many as 15 or more drinks at at time, a new study shows.
Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women, while having 10 or more drinks in a row is defined as extreme binge drinking, according to the study published Sept. 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Study background information describes short-term risks of binge drinking such as alcohol poisoning, impaired driving and injury, while long-term risks include liver damage, alcoholism and harm to the developing brains of teens.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from a more than 16,000 high school seniors.
About 20 percent of the high school seniors reported binge drinking (five or more drinks) in the past two weeks, 10.5 percent said they'd had 10 or more drinks, and nearly 6 percent had 15 or more drinks, according to a journal news release.
Males were more likely than females to binge drink, as were whites compared to blacks. Students with college-educated parents were at greater risk of binge drinking, but had lower odds of extreme binge drinking.
Binge drinking among American teens has continued to decline since record levels in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but extreme binge drinking among teens has not declined since 2005, noted study authors Megan Patrick, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues.