Social meaning of alcohol-related flushing among university students in China

Ian M. Newman, Izumi Jinnai, Jie Zhao, Zhaoqing Huang, Jia Pu, Ling Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study explored drinking patterns, alcohol-related flushing, and ways students themselves and other people respond to flushing in drinking situations. Of 1080 Chinese undergraduate university students given the survey questionnaire, 725 (67.1%) returned the completed surveys. Eighty percent of the students were drinkers (93% of males and 69% of females); 68% of the drinkers were flushers. Most of the students (59.3%) said flushing had no special meaning, that is, would ignore flushing; 54% of the flushers said they could keep drinking "but less" when they flush; 27% of the students said that a flushing person should stop drinking; however, if the flushing person is a girl, 89% of the students said the girl should drink less or stop. If the flushing person was a boy, 61% of students said he should drink less or stop. The data do suggest gender differences in the understanding of and social reaction to alcohol-related flushing, and these differences raise interesting questions as to how flushing acts as a potential protective factor against alcohol misuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ALDH
  • China
  • acetaldehyde
  • alcohol beliefs
  • alcohol flushing
  • university students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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