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Chaiyasong S, Huckle T, Mackintosh AM, Meier P, Parry C, Callinan S, Pham C, Kazantseva E, Gray-Phillip G, Parker K, Casswell S. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2018; 37(Suppl 2): S53-S62.


Massey University, SHORE and Whariki Research Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Gender and age patterns of drinking are important in guiding country responses to harmful use of alcohol. This study undertook cross-country analysis of drinking across gender, age groups in some high-and middle-income countries. DESIGN AND METHODS: Surveys of drinkers were conducted in Australia, England, Scotland, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis (high-income), Thailand, South Africa, Mongolia and Vietnam (middle-income) as part of the International Alcohol Control Study. Drinking pattern measures were high-frequency, heavier-typical quantity and higher-risk drinking. Differences in the drinking patterns across age and gender groups were calculated. Logistic regression models were applied including a measure of country-level income.

RESULTS: Percentages of high-frequency, heavier-typical quantity and higher-risk drinking were greater among men than in women in all countries. Older age was associated with drinking more frequently but smaller typical quantities especially in high-income countries. Middle-income countries overall showed less frequent but heavier typical quantities; however, the lower frequencies meant the percentages of higher risk drinkers were lower overall compared with high-income countries (with the exception of South Africa).

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: High-frequency drinking was greater in high-income countries, particularly in older age groups. Middle-income countries overall showed less frequent drinking but heavier typical quantities. As alcohol use becomes more normalised as a result of the expansion of commercial alcohol it is likely frequency of drinking will increase with a likelihood of greater numbers drinking at higher risk levels.

© 2018 The Authors Drug and Alcohol Review published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Language: en


International Alcohol Control (IAC) study; age; alcohol consumption; drinking patterns; gender


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