Mabiala-Babela JR, Mahoungou-Guimbi KC, Massamba A, Senga P. Sante. 2005 Jul-Sep;15(3):153-60 (in French).
The objectives of the present paper are to assess the frequency of alcohol use among Congolese teenagers and to identify the epidemiological factors linked with problem drinking.
A cross-sectional survey, conducted throughout Brazzaville (Congo), targeted a representative sample of 4315 adolescents (1984 girls and 2334 boys), aged 10 to 19 years. Physicians from outside the area (to optimize confidentiality) interviewed the subjects according to a questionnaire that included both open and closed questions.
Overall, 984 teenagers (22.8%) were alcohol users. This frequency was higher among boys than girls, but not significantly. It was also higher among older teenagers (those aged 15-19 years compared with those aged 10-14 years, p < 0.001), those no longer attending school (compared with those still in school, p < 0.01), and those with no religious beliefs (p < 0.001). In addition, alcohol use was less prevalent among those living with their parents than among orphans (p < 0.001). Most subjects were moderate users, and the most common alcoholic beverage for both boys and girls was beer (95.4%). Episodes of drunkenness concerned more boys (49.2%) than girls (11.9%).
Our results show the value of epidemiological investigations for planning prevention programs and the need for such programs among these adolescents to prevent excess drinking and the numerous health problems associated with it.