Alcohol consumption patterns during transition and economic growth in Estonia: results from the 1996 and 2006 health interview surveys

DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.13012   PDF   HTML     3,356 Downloads   6,620 Views   Citations


Aims: To investigate alcohol consumption patterns in Estonia in 1996, which represents the transition period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in 2006, which is characterized by economic growth. Methods: Data from all 25 – 64 year olds from the nationally representative 1996 and 2006 Estonian Health Interview Surveys were analysed. The frequency of alcohol consumption and heavy episodic drinking (HED) were examined. The odds ratios of at least weekly alcohol consumption and HED according to socio-demographic characteristics were calculated using logistic regression models. Results: In comparison with 1996, at least weekly alcohol consumption was nearly twice as high among men in 2006. No association between HED and the study year was found. Alcohol consumption was lower among respondents in the oldest age group. Weekly alcohol consumption was lower among non-Estonian men in both study years. HED was higher among non-Estonian men and women in 1996 but this difference disappeared in 2006. Weekly alcohol consumption was lower among less educated men in 1996 but not in 2006. No clear tendency in weekly alcohol consumption by education was found among women. HED was higher among less educated men in both study years; however, this association was weaker in 2006. While HED was not associated with education among women in 1996, an inverse relationship was found in 2006. Conclusions: The study confirmed that rapid societal changes had an effect on alcohol consumption patterns in Estonia. Estonia needs the implementation of a comprehensive alcohol policy to decrease harmful alcohol consumption in the whole society.

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Pärna, K. and Ringmets, I. (2011) Alcohol consumption patterns during transition and economic growth in Estonia: results from the 1996 and 2006 health interview surveys. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1, 80-87. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.13012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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