Alcohol Consumption and Development of Chronic Conditions

Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Development of Chronic Conditions

Calculating Odds Ratio

Data can be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative data is helpful to generate a hypothesis and gather information if little is known about an expected association. Focus groups, key informant interviews, and case studies are types of qualitative data collection methods used to identify common themes from which to build a hypothesis. Quantitative data collection and analysis is used to test a hypothesis and make comparisons to determine the direction and strength of a potential association. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is cross-sectional panel survey used to collect quantitative data on adult behaviors and risk factors. It is one of the largest U.S. health data collection efforts. The data can be used to analyze associations on a state or country level. Follow the steps to obtain a 2×2 contingency table (also known as a “cross tabulation”) crossing binge drinking with depression.

Retrieve the “BRFSS Web-Enabled Analysis Tool” resource provided in the Topic Materials.

Select “Cross Tabulation.”

Select “2015” for the year.

Select “Arizona” for the state.

Select “Alcohol Consumption: Binge drinkers (males having five or more drinks on one occasion, females having four or more drinks on one occasion)” for Step 2 Select Row.

Select “Chronic Health Conditions: Ever diagnosed with a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, dysthymia, or minor depression” for Step 3 Select Column.

Skip Steps 4 and 5.

Select “Sample Size” for Step 6 Select Statistics and run the report for the cross tabulation.

Part 1:

Using the data from the cross tabulation results, calculate the odds ratio for depression among those exposed to binge drinking. Interpret the odds ratio and discuss if the odds ratio is a good estimate of the relative risk in this situation. Why or why not? Show your 2×2 table and all calculations. Present or describe the formula you used to arrive at your answer.

Part 2:

Use the Topic Material, “BRFSS Web-Enabled Analysis Tool,” located on the CDC website, and run a report for two variables of interest to you. Create a 2×2 table and calculate the odds ratio for this association. Interpret the odds ratio and discuss the public health importance of the association. Show your 2×2 table. Present or describe the formula you used to arrive at your answer.

Refer to the “Creating a 2×2 Contingency Table” resource for guidance in creating 2×2 contingency tables.

Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Chronic Alcohol exposure

TestAlcohol ExposureNo Alcohol ExposureTotal
Test positive37481693917
Test negative18737763963

The sample represents  individuals who have had a drink in the last 30 days and is useful to denote the number Moreover it can be used to calculate the odds ratio which is described as the relationship between an exposure and an outcome of a particular condition in a given population, moreover the odds ratio is used in defining and describing the outcomes which result from a given exposure in the population sampled it also defies the nature of the relationship hence ensures the epidemiologist can define it as a risk for the condition (Persoskie & Ferrer, 2017). It is calculated by dividing the first group with the second, which in the case is the division of the odds in the exposed individual and that of the non-espoused population. The odds ratio is 14.4.

In addition, the calculation is common in case-control, cross-sectional and cohort studies which try to describe the outcome of a condition from the exposure of the target population and demographics (Persoskie & Ferrer, 2017). The above table defines the correlation of chronic conditions with the consumption of alcohol with a higher number of individuals who consume alcohol being at risk of developing chronic health conditions while those that are not regular consumers tend not to develop the ailments at the same rate.

Additionally, there is the need to ensure that the individuals at risk are encouraged to change their behavior which the excessive consumption of alcohol and the reduction will lead to optimal health or the same demographic (Persoskie & Ferrer, 2017). The number of cases reported will also reduce leading to a reduction of the patients seeking healthcare services, which will ensure better utilization of medical and other resources available.  Furthermore, there is a need to regulate the number of individuals who consume alcohol daily to minimize the detrimental effects they have on the world.


Persoskie, A., & Ferrer, R. A. (2017). A Most Odd Ratio. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(2), 224-228.