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Self-reported alcohol consumption and the risk of alcohol-related problems: A comparative risk-curve analysis of the three Baltic countries, Sweden and Italy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2012 (English)In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 0145-6008, E-ISSN 1530-0277, Vol. 36, no 1, 113-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Previous research has suggested a positive risk-relationship between volume of consumption and adverse behavioural and social consequences of drinking. However, because the risk-relationship may be modified by factors such as pattern of drinking, attributes of social drinking contexts and drunken comportment, the shape of the risk-function appear to be contingent upon the larger cultural context of drinking. Methods: In this paper I use graphical risk-curve analyses and model estimations to assess how the risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems is associated with self-reported volume of alcohol consumption in the three Baltic countries; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania  as well as Sweden and Italy. The rationale behind the choice of countries was to obtain a basis for comparing the risk curves for the Baltic countries with the risk-curves for two countries representing distinct types of the western European drinking cultures. The analyses utilised data from two general population surveys (including Sweden plus Italy and the Baltic countries, respectively) with approximately 1000 respondents from each country. Results: The slopes of the risk-curves for the Baltic countries were generally parallel to those of for Sweden, but significantly steeper than for Italy. This result suggests that (i) the risk for alcohol-related problems in the Baltic countries increases with volume of consumption in a way that is similar to northern Europe, and (ii) that increasing volume of consumption is associated with a considerably higher risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems in the Baltic countries (and Sweden) than in Italy. The result also suggests that increasing volume of consumption is associated with the risk of experiencing a larger number of different problems in the Baltic countries and Sweden than in Italy. Conclusions: The results were in line with the hypothesis of a European north to south gradient in the strength of the risk-relationship, but also add that the Baltic countries may be placed alongside the Nordic countries in this context. Since only volume of consumption is considered, the results cannot be used to specify which factors and mechanisms that actually modify the shape of the risk-function in each culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 36, no 1, 113-118 p.
Keyword [en]
Self-reported volume of consumption, alcohol-related problems, graphical risk-curve analyses, the Baltic countries
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-58301DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01597.xISI: 000298730200014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-58301DiVA: diva2:419925
Projects
Alcohol in Eastern Europe - A public health perspective
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2011-05-30 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Alcohol-Related Problems in Eastern Europe: A Comparative Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alcohol-Related Problems in Eastern Europe: A Comparative Perspective
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the association between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in Eastern Europe. The main aim was to estimate to what extent changes in per capita alcohol consumption have an impact on different forms of alcohol-related mortality, and to put the results in an international comparative perspective. The thesis includes four papers; the first two papers use aggregate time-series analysis to assess how changes in per capita consumption affect rates in suicide mortality and fatal non-intentional injuries in several Eastern European countries, respectively. The third paper applies the same methodological approach to analyse the population-level relationship between alcohol and homicide in Russia and the U.S.. The fourth paper employs survey data to assess how the risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems in relation to volume of consumption in the Baltic countries compares to Sweden and Italy. The results of the first three papers suggests: (i) that changes in per capita consumption are significantly related to changes in mortality rates of suicide, non-intentional injuries and homicide in the countries under study; (ii) that the relationship is stronger for men than for women, and (iii) that the relationship tends to be stronger in the countries with more detrimental drinking patterns, e.g. Russia. The results of the fourth paper suggest that the risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems in relation to level of drinking in the Baltic countries is similar to the corresponding risk in Sweden, but considerably stronger than in Italy. In conclusion, the findings support the significance of a public health approach to alcohol-related problems in Eastern Europe, i.e., policy measures directed towards total alcohol consumption. In addition, strategies aimed at reducing the occurrence of binge drinking seem to have great potential for reducing alcohol-related harm and mortality in Eastern European countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2010. 46 p.
Series
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1650-819X ; 10
Keyword
Eastern Europe, alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm, time-series analysis
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44215 (URN)978-91-7447-177-9 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2010-12-10, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Alcohol in Eastern Europe - a Public Health Perspective
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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