Daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population: Prevalence and associated factors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBonsaksen, Heir, Skogstad, Grimholt, Ekeberg, Lerdal, Schou-Bredal. Daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population: Prevalence and associated factors. Drugs and alcohol today. 2020 https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/DAT-02-2020-0010
Purpose: Harmful use of alcohol is a major public health problem. While harm is often researched in the context of heavy drinking episodes, high-frequency drinking, even when drinking moderate quantities, constitutes a health risk in a longer perspective. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population, and to assess sociodemographic, mental health-related and personal resource variables associated with daily use of alcohol. Methodology: A cross-sectional survey concerned with health, illness and serious life events was distributed to 5,500 persons in the general population in Norway (response rate 36 %). Sociodemographic variables, personal resource variables (general self-efficacy, optimism, and extraversion) and psychological distress (current anxiety and/or depression) were assessed with regards to their associations with daily drinking in unadjusted and adjusted regression models. Findings: Daily use of alcohol was reported by 39 persons (2.2 %) in the sample (3.1 % of men and 1.4 % of women). While general self-efficacy, optimism and extraversion were unrelated to daily drinking, the adjusted model revealed that male sex (OR: 2.18, p < 0.05), being unemployed/not in education (OR: 3.10, p < 0.05) and reporting current anxiety and/or depression (OR: 3.12, p < 0.01) were associated with daily use of alcohol. Value: The study has contributed to the knowledge about daily drinkers in a representative sample of the Norwegian population. A proportion of 2.2 % was found to drink alcohol on a daily basis. Compared to their counterparts, the odds of daily drinking were higher for men, unemployed persons and persons reporting current psychological distress. Public health initiatives aiming at reducing harmful use of alcohol may pay particular attention to these subsets of the population.