CDC: Three Chicago Neighborhoods Rank In Highest Binge Drinking Rates

CHICAGO (CBS) — Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that three Chicago neighborhoods are among areas with the highest rates of binge drinking in the country.

As part of the 500 Cities project, data found that large areas of Lakeview, as well as the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighboorhood and the South Loop, rank among the highest in the country, with 31 percent or more residents engaging in the behavior.

Binge drinking prevalence among adults aged >18 years by census tract, Chicago, IL, 2014 (Credit: 500 Cities Project: Local Data for Better Health 2014, Chicago, IL; Map created by CDC/NCCDPHP/DPH/ESB-GIS)

Binge drinking prevalence among adults aged >18 years
by census tract, Chicago, IL, 2014 (Credit: 500 Cities Project: Local Data for Better Health 2014, Chicago, IL; Map created by CDC/NCCDPHP/DPH/ESB-GIS)

“The purpose of the 500 Cities project is to provide city- and census tract-level small area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States,” according to the CDC. “These small area estimates allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions, and help them plan public health interventions.”

The most recent data, taken in 2014, estimates more than one-third of residents in these areas engage in binge drinking. The highest is Wrigleyville (34 percent), which ranks No. 20 out of more than 29,000 neighborhoods nationwide in the CDC data.

Binge Drinking, defined by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams percent or above. It typically occurs when men consume five or more drinks, and when women consume four or more drinks, in about a two hour time span.

The CDC says binge drinking among men is twice as common, than among women.

Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States, according to the CDC, with one in six U.S. adults binge drinking about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.

Binge drinking can lead to unintentional injuries, such as, car crashes, falls, burns and drowning; it can also lead to intentional injuries, such as, firearm injuries, sexual assault and domestic violence.

Binge drinking is linked to many other health problems including alcohol poisoning, high blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases; poor control of diabetes, liver disease, neurological damage; sexual dysfunction, STDs, unintended pregnancy, children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders.

Binge drinking does not just cost the drinker, but it costs the country.

Drinking, including binge drinking, cost the United States $249-billion in 2010, or $2.05 a drink, from losses in productivity, health care, crime, and other expenses, according to the CDC. Binge drinking was responsible for 77 percent of these costs, or $191-billion.

While Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown and the South Loop residents like to drink, they don’t smoke much. Data revealed smoking is highest on West and South Sides. The data also reveals unhealthy behaviors, such as, physical activity, obesity and sleep; health outcomes, such as, arthitis, asthma, cancer and mental health; and uses of preventative services. To see how your neighborhood matches up to these behaviors and health issues, view the CDC’s data maps.

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