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J Stud Alcohol. 1991 Nov;52(6):593-6.

Use of the CAGE scale in a population survey of drinking.

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  • 1Addiction Research Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This article examines the use of the CAGE scale, a 4-item self-report screening test designed to identify problem drinkers, among 703 drinkers aged 18 and over interviewed in a general population survey. The results showed that 10.9% of drinkers reported two or more items affirmatively, the suggested cut-off indicative of problem drinking. This rate is similar to the percentage of drinkers who consume four or more standard drinks daily, derived from aggregate per capita consumption estimates. Factor analysis of the items showed a unidimensional scale with good psychometric properties. Other cut-offs are also compared with other alcoholism estimates. In general, the results indicated some utility of the CAGE in general population surveys.

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