Aims: Little is known about specific Danish drinking patterns. This paper investigates how various socio-demographic factors are related to Danish alcohol consumption with special focus on age and sex. Methods: Data come from a national telephone survey of the Danish general population conducted in 2003 with a final sample size of 2,030 cases. Measures of beverage specific current drinking, overall drinking, daily drinking, heavy episodic drinking, mean consumption, volume per drinking occasion and frequency of drinking were analysed. Results: A little over 5% of the population are abstainers. Fourteen per cent of men and 9% of women are heavy drinkers; 38% of men and 18% of women are heavy episodic drinkers. Youth of both sexes drink heavily, and especially in a binge drinking style. Regular, more temperate drinking is associated with increasing age. Multivariate analyses suggest that other than age and sex, classical socioeconomic factors do not play a great a role in determining drinking patterns. Social integrative factors in particular influence women's drinking. Conclusions: With respect to the rest of Europe and North America, Danes consume high levels of alcohol with a large percentage of youth drinking in a binge pattern. Classical socioeconomic factors play a lesser role in determining drinking patterns compared to other Western countries. Longitudinal studies and studies of alcohol-related consequences in the Danish general population should be conducted to better formulate alcohol and public health policy.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2008, Vol 36, Issue 6, p. 580-588
Alcohol drinking, binge drinking, Denmark, drinking patterns, general population