Age differences in alcohol drinking patterns among Norwegian and German hospital doctors - a study based on national samples

Rosta J, Aasland OG., GMS Ger Med Sci 2010; 8 : Doc 05.

Article in English.

Abstract on Pubmed:

AIMS: To describe and discuss the alcohol drinking patterns of the younger generation of hospital doctors in Norway and Germany - respectively the abstainers, frequent drinkers, episodic heavy drinkers and hazardous drinkers. METHODS: Data were collected in nationwide postal surveys among doctors in Norway (2000) and Germany (2006). A representative sample of 1898 German and 602 Norwegian hospital doctors aged 27-65 years were included in the analyses (N=2500). Alcohol drinking patterns were measured using the first three items of AUDIT in Norway and the AUDIT-C in Germany, scores of >or=5 (ranking from 0 to 12) indicating hazardous drinking. Episodic heavy drinking was defined by the intake of >or=60 g of ethanol, on one occasion, at least once a week. Frequent drinkers were who drank alcoholic beverages at least twice a week. Abstainers were persons who drank no alcohol. The analyses were performed separately for age groups (27-44 years versus 45-65 years) and genders. RESULTS: Compared to the age groups 45 to 65 years in the Norwegian and German samples, the younger age groups (27-44 years) tend to have higher rates of abstainers, higher rates of infrequent drinking of moderate amount of alcoholic drinks, lower rates of episodic heavy drinking and lower rates of hazardous drinking. CONCLUSION: The younger generation of hospital doctors in Norway and Germany showed tendencies to healthier drinking habits. Changes in professional life, and in the attitude towards alcohol consumption, may go some way towards explaining these findings.

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