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Public Health Nutr. 2004 Oct;7(7):879-84.

High alcohol consumption in Germany: results of the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998.

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Robert Koch-Institute, Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting, Berlin, Germany.



To analyse the alcohol consumption behaviour of the German adult population, with a focus on the characteristics of persons drinking more than the tolerable upper alcohol intake level (TUAL) of 10-12 g day(-1) for healthy adult women and 20-24 g day(-1) for healthy adult men.


For the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998, a representative sample of free-living adults was drawn. A total of 7124 participants were interviewed comprehensively about their sociodemographic background, lifestyle and eating habits including alcohol consumption.


A sub-sample of 4030 women and men, 18-79 years old, who were involved in the integrated German Nutrition Survey.


About 16% of women and 31% of men had mean alcohol consumption above the TUAL. Among other factors, the inclination to exceed the TUAL was related to middle-age, high socio-economic status, smoking and use of soft drugs. Among both women and men, a high proportion of persons drinking above the TUAL was observed among those consuming low amounts of soft drinks, fruit, poultry, milk products, bread and cake/biscuits. Women preferred to drink wine, whereas men preferred to drink beer.


Many Germans have an alcohol consumption level above the TUAL and thus are supposed to be at increased risk for alcohol-associated diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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