Alcohol habits in Sweden during 1997-2009 with particular focus on 2005 and 2009, assessed with the AUDIT: a repeated cross-sectional study

Eur Addict Res. 2011;17(2):90-6. doi: 10.1159/000322068. Epub 2010 Dec 17.


Aim: This study aimed to survey the changes in alcohol habits during a period with the European Union legal practices.

Methods: Alcohol habits in Sweden were surveyed in the general Swedish population at four timepoints, in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009, using the 10-item AUDIT questionnaire.

Design: Four separate randomly drawn cross-sectional samples of 1,250 individuals were surveyed at each timepoint.

Results: An average of 70% of the sampled individuals responded to the AUDIT questionnaire. Men had higher total AUDIT scores than women in 2005 and 2009, but scores increased among women 61-71 years old and decreased among men 61-71 years old. Younger men and women 17-27 years old decreased their AUDIT-C consumption scores by almost 20% between 2005 and 2009. An analysis of problem drinkers (+8 for men/+6 for women) indicated that a larger proportion of elderly women drank moderately in 2009 compared with 2005, but fewer elderly women drank hazardously.

Conclusions: Earlier increases in drinking levels between 1997 and 2001 may reflect a latent high demand that was restricted by low availability. When availability due to European Union harmonization increased, alcohol consumption followed suit. After a period of adaptation, alcohol consumption appears to have stabilized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology