Trends in alcohol-related mortality in Sweden 1969-2002: an age-period-cohort analysis

Addiction. 2006 Jun;101(6):835-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01421.x.


Aim: To study the effects of age, period and cohorts on alcohol-related mortality trends in Sweden.

Design: The study comprises an age-period-cohort analysis.

Setting and participants: The analysis was based on all deaths in the Swedish population between 1969 and 2002.

Measurements: Data on alcohol-related deaths in Sweden from 1969 to 2002 excluding accidental injury and homicide were used. The analysis covered 43 021 deaths.

Findings: Time period and birth cohort both influenced alcohol-related mortality. Male cohorts born in the 1930-40s exhibited the highest alcohol-related mortality, while for females those born in the 1940-50s had the highest alcohol-related mortality. For both men and women, those born in the 1960-70s had the lowest age-adjusted alcohol-related mortality. High-risk cohorts were young or in early adulthood during the periods that alcohol became more available in Sweden. The low-risk cohorts of the 1960-70s were brought up during a period when society was concerned with increasing alcohol problems and more emphasis was placed on issuing alcohol awareness information in schools.

Conclusions: Cohort effects were found suggesting that the link between alcohol consumption and non-accident alcohol-related mortality at the population level is dependent on other factors that may change over time. One such factor may be that restrictive alcohol policies have a greater effect on drinking in those who are younger at the time they are put into effect.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / trends
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sweden / epidemiology