Changes in alcohol consumption in the 50- to 64-year-old European economically active population during an economic crisis

Eur J Public Health. 2017 Aug 1;27(4):711-716. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx044.

Abstract

Background: The aim was to compare alcohol drinking patterns in economically active people aged 50-64 years before the last economic crisis (2006) and during the crisis (2013).

Methods: Cross-sectional study with data from 25 479 economically active people aged 50-64 years resident in 11 European countries who participated in wave 2 or wave 5 of the SHARE project (2006 and 2013). The outcome variables were hazardous drinking, abstention in previous 3 months and the weekly average number of drinks per drinker. The prevalence ratios of hazardous drinking and abstention, comparing the prevalence in 2013 vs. 2006, were estimated with Poisson regression models with robust variance, and the changes in the number of drinks per week with Poisson regression models.

Results: The prevalence of hazardous drinking decreased among both men (PR = 0.75; 95%CI = 0.63-0.92) and women (PR = 0.91; 95%CI = 0.72-1.15), although the latter decrease was smaller and not statistically significant. The proportion of abstainers increased among both men (PR = 1.11; 95%CI = 0.99-1.29) and women (PR = 1.18; 95%CI = 1.07-1.30), although the former increase was smaller and not statistically significant. The weekly average number of drinks per drinker decreased in men and women. The decreases in consumption were larger in Italy and Spain.

Conclusion: From 2006 to 2013, the amount of alcohol consumed by late working age drinkers decreased in Europe, with more pronounced declines in the countries hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Abstinence / economics
  • Alcohol Abstinence / statistics & numerical data
  • Alcohol Drinking / economics
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Economic Recession / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution