[Health Risk drinking and problematic consumption of alcohol in Pomerania: comparative analysis of the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) compared with the Federal German Health and Examination Survey in 1998].Gesundheitswesen. 2005 Jan; 67(1):39-47.G
Epidemiological studies show a "North-South" gradient in drinking patterns in Germany, with the South-Eastern regions consuming more alcohol. Hence, patterns of alcohol consumption as well as at-risk drinking were evaluated in West Pomerania using a representative sample. In addition, the average daily quantities and the proportions of at-risk drinking were compared with representative data for Germany (Federal German Health and Examination Survey 1998 [FGHES]).
A representative random sample of the Pomeranian population (4,310 persons) was analysed. The response rate was 68.8 %. The amount and frequency of alcohol consumption was surveyed with a standardized questionnaire. Prevalence rates for at- risk drinking (> or = 30 g ethanol per day for men, > or = 20 g ethanol per day for woman), indications of abuse / dependence, and episodes of heavy drinking (number of days with 5 and more drinks consumed per day) are presented. To identify socio-economic correlates of high-risk drinking multiple logistic regression modelling was used. Alcohol consumption was evaluated via a frequency-quantity-measure and by using the "Luebeck Alcohol Dependence and Abuse Screening Test" (LAST).
Average daily consumption of pure alcohol was about 11.8 g per day, 18.5 g per day for men and 5.8 g per day for women. The consumed quantities exceeded the levels calculated with the FGHES about 1.5 g, 1.8 g for men and 1.2 g for women. Prevalence of risk drinking and harmful alcohol use in Pomerania is higher than the FGHES as well. At-risk drinking was especially associated with age. In women, belonging to a higher social class at-risk drinking was higher, whereas in men of the lower social class consumption rates were higher. The highest alcohol consumption was observed among middle-aged men and women.
The results suggest that alcohol consumption on a high level as well as high-risk drinking is a common phenomenon in the north-eastern part of Germany. Public health measures are indicated for this region. Such intervention projects should focus on population groups with higher alcohol intake.