Age, Period and Cohort Effects On Alcohol Consumption In Estonia, 1996-2018

Alcohol Alcohol. 2021 Jun 29;56(4):451-459. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agaa115.


Aims: To analyse the independent effects of age, period and cohort on estimated daily alcohol consumption in Estonia.

Methods: This study used data from nationally representative repeated cross-sectional surveys from 1996 to 2018 and included 11,717 men and 16,513 women aged 16-64 years in total. The dependent variables were consumption of total alcohol and consumption by types of beverages (beer, wine and strong liquor) presented as average daily consumption in grams of absolute alcohol. Mixed-effects negative binomial models stratified by sex were used for age-period-cohort analysis.

Results: Alcohol consumption was highest at ages 20-29 years for both men and women and declined in older ages. Significant period effects were found indicating that total alcohol consumption and consumption of different types of beverages had increased significantly since the 1990s for both men and women. Cohort trends differed for men and women. Men born in the 1990-2000s had significantly lower daily consumption compared to earlier cohorts, whereas the opposite was found for women.

Conclusion: While age-related patterns of alcohol consumption are aligned with life course stages, alcohol use has increased over the study period. Although the total daily consumption among men is nearly four times higher than among women, the cohort trends suggest convergence of alcohol consumption patterns for men and women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Effect
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Estonia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires