Alcohol Consumption Patterns and Associated Risk Behaviors in Three Ethnic Groups of Malaysian Millennials

*Corresponding author: Sangeeta K. Singh*, Kwong H. Yap, Peter Natarajan, Pascale Allotey and Daniel Reidpath

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original research



To gain further insights into factors associated with harmful alcohol consumption patterns and other associated behaviours among Malaysians millennials.


The United States Centre for Disease, Control, and Prevention (CDC) Youth Risk Behaviour Survey was adapted and translated into Bahasa Malaysia language. The self-administered questionnaire collected information on socio-demographic characteristics and risk behaviours associated with alcohol consumption. Multi-facet sampling was used to recruit participants across six sites in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. There were 326 respondents: 103 Malays, 111 Chinese and 112 Indians; with 171 (52%) male and 155 (48%) female.


Mean age of the respondents was 21-years. Twenty percent of the millennials surveyed were binge consumers: 79% of binge drinkers were male. More than half (54%) of the binge drinkers were Indians followed by Chinese at 39% and Malays at 8%. Binge consumers were at increased odds (OR=7.58: 95% CI=3.88-14.80) of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and at increased odds (OR=6.88: 95% CI=3.40-13.90) of being driven by someone drunk. Those who were binge drinkers were also at higher odds than non-drinkers of being forced into sexual intercourse (OR=3.16: 95% CI=1.25-7.97) or other sexual acts (OR=3.84: 95% CI=1.74-8.47). Binge drinkers were also more prone to smoking compared to current drinkers (OR=10.82 9% CI=4.85-24.12).


Binge consumption among millennials was associated with a myriad of behavioural risk factors and harmful alcohol-related consequences. Multiple strategic approaches are needed that address respective cultural norms, enhancement of millennials socialisation and engagement skills within communities to improve the efficacy of preventive interventions.


Alcohol; Communities; Malaysia; Risky behaviours; Social; Youth.