Forschungsergebnisse / Research results

24.01.2006  (forsc101.htm)

Source/Quelle:

EU 

Authors/Verfasser:

Theme/Thema:

The ESPAD study on Alcohol


Link to  EUROPA - Public Health - Lifestyle - Alcohol


Alcohol consumption

Prevalence of alcohol consumption 40 times or more in lifetime is presented in the summary tables.
They also contain the 30 days prevalence of alcohol consumption 10 times or more, as well as the 30 days prevalence of consuming beer, wine and spirits 3 times or more.

In two thirds of the ESPAD countries the vast majority (90% or more) of the students have drank alcohol at least once in their lifetime. However, these students do not all drink on a regular basis. A student who has been drinking at least 40 times can be labelled as more of a regular consumer. The prevalence rates of this frequency of drinking are much lower than the total lifetime prevalence. The highest rates reporting use of alcohol 40 times or more in lifetime are primarily found in the same countries as reported the highest lifetime figures. They include Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Isle of Man, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (43–50%). The lowest proportion is reported from Turkey (7%) followed by Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Portugal (13–15%).

More boys than girls report this level of alcohol consumption. In a few countries, Isle of Man, Finland and Norway, the gender distribution is about equal. However, no country reports prevalence rates among girls that exceed those of the boys. A higher frequency of alcohol use is revealed among students who had consumed alcohol 10 times or more during the last 30 days, i.e. at least every third day on average. About one quarter of the students in the Netherlands (25%) and about one fifth of the respondents in Austria, Belgium, Malta and the United Kingdom (17–21%) reported this frequency of alcohol use. In some countries, this drinking frequency is hardly reported at all.

Proportions of 3% or less were found in Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Thus, the very low prevalence rates are mainly concentrated to the Nordic countries. Many students report rather frequent beer consumption. The percentages of students who had consumed beer 3 times or more during the last 30 days varies between 10 and 44%. The highest figures are found in Denmark, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Poland (40–44%). The smallest proportions were reported from Norway and Turkey (14 and 10% respectively). Other countries where less than 20% had consumed beer that often include Finland, Hungary, Iceland and Portugal. Drinking beer is a predominantly male behaviour in most ESPAD countries.

The only exceptions are two countries in the North Atlantic, Greenland and Iceland, where almost equal proportions of girls and boys report frequent beer drinking. A smaller number of students had been drinking wine than beer during the last 30 days. The proportions of students reporting a wine consumption frequency of 3 times or more during last 30 days are in most cases lower than 20%. However, one country stands out in this respect, as one third (35%) of the students in Malta reported this frequency of wine drinking. Other high prevalence countries include Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and Slovenia (21–23%). The lowest proportions that reported this frequency of wine consumption are found in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Turkey (5% or less).

The number of students who had been drinking spirits during the last 30 days vary considerably between the ESPAD countries. This holds true also when looking at the number of students who had been drinking 3 times or more during last month. The British Isles are at the top but also two Mediterranean countries. The highest proportion is found in Malta, where 43% of the students reported this frequency of spirits consumption. The countries that come next include the Faroe Islands, Greece, Ireland, Isle of Man and the United Kingdom (37–39%).
In about half of the countries, more boys than girls report such frequent consumption of spirits. However, almost the same number of countries report prevalence rates that are equal or almost equal between the sexes. Only three countries report proportions among the girls that exceed those of the boys. These countries are all high frequency countries and they are all parts of the British Isles, i.e. Ireland, Isle of Man and the United Kingdom.


 

Drunkenness

Lifetime prevalence of having been drunk 20 times or more and the 30 days prevalence of being drunk 3 times or more are presented in the summary tables.
Some students have a rather limited experience of getting drunk, while others get intoxicated more frequently. However, in 30 of the 35 countries studied a majority of the students have been drunk at least once. The countries with the highest percentages indicating that they had been drunk 20 times or more in lifetime include Denmark, Ireland, Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Finland (26–36%). In other countries only a few report this frequency of drunkenness. In Turkey only 1% had been drunk 20 times or more and in Cyprus, France, Greece, Portugal and Romania this was reported by about 3% of the students.
In a majority of the countries there are more boys than girls that report this frequency of intoxication. In no country are the girls in majority. However, in relatively many countries the gender distribution is rather even. These countries include both the British Isles and most of the Nordic countries (Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom).
The number of students who have been drunk 3 times or more during the last 30 days is of course much smaller, but the highest ranked countries are in most cases the same. Thus, in Denmark and Ireland about one fourth of the students had been drunk that often. Other countries with high prevalence rates include Isle of Man and the United Kingdom (23 % each).
However, in about half of the ESPAD countries the number of students reporting this frequency of intoxication is 10% or less. The lowest figures are reported from Cyprus, France, Greece, Portugal and Turkey (1–3%).


 

Binge drinking

The frequency of having 5 or more drinks in a row, sometimes referred to as “binge drinking”, provides an alternative measure of heavy alcohol use. The proportion indicating such consumption 3 times or more during the last 30 days vary considerably over the ESPAD countries. This is reported by one fifth to one third of the students in about half of the ESPAD countries.
The highest number of students reporting this behaviour is found in Denmark, Ireland, Isle of Man, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom (24–32%). Thus, there is a concentration of countries to the northern and western parts of Europe with Malta as the only exception. Countries with the lowest binge drinking figures are Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, Romania and Turkey (5–11%).


 

Datas

See Selected variables on tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption. Boys

See Selected variables on tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption. Girls

See Selected variables on tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption. All students

See Changes between 1999 and 2003 in lifetime use of any alcoholic beverages 40 times or more

See Changes between 1999 and 2003 in the proportion who have been drunk 20 times or more in lifetime

 

 

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