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Nome S Richter J Eisemann M

Alcohol use patterns in a Norwegian general population-based sample with special reference to socio-

Journal of Public Health . June 2013, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 241-249 | 2013



The aim of this study was to analyse alcohol use patterns in a general population-based sample in Norway, with special reference to gender and socio-demographic variables.


The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was applied to measure alcohol use patterns and to identify hazardous alcohol use and negative consequences. AUDIT is a commonly used screening instrument in general population studies. A random sample was established of 4,000 Norwegian citizens, aged 18 to 79, which was drawn from the National Register held by Statistics Norway. The response rate in this study was 33%.


The results show that males are more likely to consume more alcohol and to experience more drinking-related problems than females. More males (30.0%) than females (12.6%) were found in the hazardously alcohol consuming group (AUDIT total score ≥8). Furthermore, odds ratios for males were significantly higher than the oldest age group (age 66–79, reference category) compared to all other age groups, while for females, only the two youngest age categories (18–35 years) were found to be significantly higher than the reference category. Age was found to be a major factor (confounder), especially for females, in the relationships between alcohol drinking patterns, employment and marital status, level of education and density groups.


The results should be of interest both for health policy makers and health-care professionals in their planning of prevention and interventions concerning the hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption among the youngest age group.