The drinking habits of Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and white men in the West Midlands: a community survey

Br J Addict. 1990 Jun;85(6):759-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1990.tb01688.x.


Men born in India but living in Britain have higher than expected treated prevalence rates of alcohol-related disorders. A community survey of random samples of 200 each of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu men and 200 white English-born men, matched for age, were interviewed using a structural questionnaire containing a retrospective drinking diary. Sikhs were most likely to be regular drinkers followed by whites and Hindus. The very few Muslim men who drank consumed the most alcohol on average. The frequently reported pattern of an inverse relationship between drinking and age was found for white men but not among Sikhs and Hindus. In both these groups older men reported consuming more alcohol than did young men. However, age was confounded with generation: heavier levels of consumption were reported by Sikhs and Hindus born in India than by Sikhs and Hindus born in Britain. Among regular drinkers Sikhs had higher average Alcohol Problem Scale Scores than did white men or Hindus. The highest average scores were recorded for the (few) Muslim regular drinkers (who also consumed the most alcohol). A clear association with religious observance was found for all three Asian groups and for the white men. No religious Muslims drank at all, and a relatively small proportion of the other groups who were regular church/Temple attenders drank regularly.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / ethnology
  • Islam / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Psychology*