Page last updated: March 27, 2017
The affect of the economic crisis on alcohol consumption in an older European economically active

A Cross-sectional study compared alcohol drinking patterns in economically active people aged 50- 64 years before the last economic crisis (2006) and during the crisis (2013).

Data was taken from 25 479 economically active people aged 50-64 years resident in 11 European countries who participated in wave 2 or wave 5 of the SHARE project (2006 and 2013). The main measurements were hazardous drinking, abstention in previous 3 months and the weekly average number of drinks per drinker. Poisson regression models were used to estimate prevalence ratios of hazardous drinking and abstention, comparing the prevalence in 2013 vs. 2006 and the changes in the number of drinks per week.

The prevalence of hazardous drinking decreased among both men (PR = 0.75; 95%CI = 0.63-0.92) and women (PR = 0.91; 95%CI = 0.72-1.15), although in women the decrease was smaller and not statistically significant. The proportion of abstainers increased among both men (PR = 1.11; 95%CI = 0.99-1.29) and women (PR = 1.18; 95%CI = 1.07-1.30), although in men the increase was smaller and not statistically significant. The weekly average number of drinks per drinker decreased in men and women. The decreases in consumption were larger in Italy and Spain. The study finds that from 2006 to 2013, the amount of alcohol consumed by late working age drinkers decreased in Europe, with more pronounced declines in the countries hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Source: Changes in alcohol consumption in the 50- to 64-year-old European economically active population during an economic crisis. Bosque-Prous M, Kunst AE, Brugal MT, Espelt A. Eur J Public Health. 2017 Apr 27. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx044.

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