Tattooed people likely to drink more: Study

Washington: Do you have a fetish for tattoos and piercings? If yes, you are more likely to drink more than your peers without the adornments, a new study has suggested.

Previous studies have shown that tattooed individuals are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, such as unprotected sex, rubbery, violence and alcohol consumption compared to people without tattoos.

The new study, carried out by a team from the Universite de Bretagne-Sud in France, was the first to find a strong link between tattoos, body piercings and alcohol consumption.

For their study, the researchers asked nearly 3,000 young men and women as they were exiting bars if they would take a breathalyser test.

Of those who agreed to take it, people with tattoos and body piercings were found to have consumed more alcohol than those without the adornments, LiveScience reported.

"A host of previous studies have routinely shown that individuals with body piercings or tattoos are more likely to engage in risky behaviour than non-pierced or non tattooed people," said study author Nicolas Gueguen, a professor of social behaviour at the Universite de Bretagne-Sud.

He listed sex without protection, fighting, theft, and alcohol consumption as several examples of risky behaviour.

The researchers suggest educators, parents and physicians should consider tattoos and piercings as potential "markers" of drinking, using them to begin a conversation about alcohol consumption and other risky behaviours.

However, doctors should not stereotype individuals with tattoos as heavy drinkers, they cautioned.

Clinicians should spend time "talking to them about safe tattooing, etc., and alcohol in general... Not because they have tattoos or piercings but because they are in a high-risk age group," said Myrna Armstrong of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center who was not involved in the study.
The findings of the study are published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.