Predictors of Persistence of Risky Drinking in Adults: An 11-Year Follow-Up Study

Eur Addict Res. 2017;23(5):231-237. doi: 10.1159/000481347. Epub 2017 Oct 6.


Aim: To examine the long-term predictors of persistence of risky drinking in a baseline group of risky drinkers in whom alcohol use disorder had not been diagnosed.

Methods: The data was derived from a representative sample of the Finnish adult population aged 30 years or more, surveyed at 2 time points in the years 2000 (n = 5,726) and 2011 (n = 3,848, 67.2% of the baseline sample). Risky drinking was defined using BSQF-measurement (for men, 21 standard UK drinks or more per week; for women 14+ drinks) and not having alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. The sample of risky drinkers in baseline comprised 642 persons, of whom 380 (59.2%) people provided follow-up data. Multivariable logistic regression models were estimated to identify determinants of persistence of risky drinking.

Results: The rate for persistence of risky drinking was 48.7%. Persistence was predicted by daily smoking, low physical activity, and male gender, whereas higher age and later onset of drinking predicted cessation of risky drinking. Daily smoking remained an independent predictor after adjusting for other risk factors.

Conclusions: Health behaviour predicts the persistence of risky drinking in a study population of adults aged 30 and over. These factors should be taken into account when assessing the long-term prognosis on risky drinking.

Keywords: Follow-up study; Protective factors; Risk factors; Risky drinking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking