Ethnic Koreans in the U.S. are the heaviest and most frequent binge drinkers among Asian Americans, according to a study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and a team led by Lee Hae-kook at Catholic University Medical Center. The study was conducted among 8,900 adults of five Asian ethnic groups.
Some 51.8 percent of Korean Americans said they drank at least once over the past month, more than among ethnic Japanese (49.7 percent), Chinese (42 percent), Filipinos (37.9 percent) and Indians (34 percent). And 24.6 percent of the ethnic Koreans said they drank more than five glasses of the same tipple in one sitting, two to three times more than other Asian Americans.
The second heaviest drinkers were Filipinos (14.5 percent), followed by Japanese (14.2 percent), Indians (10.1 percent) and Chinese (8.1 percent).
The study concluded that the social atmosphere in Korea where heavy drinking is widely condoned is also apparent among Korean Americans.
The difference between the genders was also the smallest among ethnic Koreans. If the drinking rate for women was set at 1, the rate for men was 1.5. Among Chinese Americans the rate was 1:2.85 for women and men, among Japanese 1:3.4, among Filipinos 1:3.58 and among Indians 1:5.04.
The study will be published in next month’s issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.