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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2010 Sep;32(3):231-41. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Alcohol use patterns among Brazilian adults.

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Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



To describe patterns of alcohol consumption in the adult Brazilian population.


Multicluster random sample of 2,346 subjects 18 years of age or older, selected nationwide. Interviews were conducted in respondents' homes between November 2005 and April 2006.


About 48% of the sample had not drunk alcoholic beverages in the past year, with variations by gender, age, marital status, education, income and region of the country. Among drinkers, 29% reported drinking 5 or more drinks per occasion (men, 38%). Sociodemographic variables are associated with the frequency and amount of drinking, alcohol problems, and alcohol abuse and dependence. Among the whole sample (including drinkers and non drinkers), 28% reported binge drinking, 25% reported at least one kind of alcohol related problem, 3% were alcohol abusers and another 9% were alcohol dependent.


Abstinence is high in the Brazilian population. However, elevated proportions of those who drink consume alcohol in a high risk pattern (binge-drinking), report a high level of alcohol problems, alcohol abuse and dependence. National public policies must consider these factors, as well as the regional Brazilian differences.

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