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Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2019 Aug;10(4):205-214. doi: 10.24171/j.phrp.2019.10.4.02.

Gender Differences in Harmful Use of Alcohol Among Korean Adults.

Author information

College of Nursing, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea.
Department of Nursing, California State University San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, USA.



Harmful alcohol consumption is associated with considerable social and economic damage to individuals and society. Because gender and ethnic background influence alcohol intake differently, examining gender specific factors influencing harmful drinking is necessary. This study investigated gender differences in alcohol consumption, harmful drinking, and the associated factors among Korean adults.


We analyzed the data from the 2012-2015 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data from survey participants aged 20-64 years (N = 18,581) were included. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test was used for alcohol dependence, and pooled weights were used. Chi-squared tests and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted.


The prevalence of harmful alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test score ≥ 16) was 10.7% in the total sample; 18.4% in men and 3.4% in women, which constituted a significant difference. Education, marital status, smoking, perceived stress, and depressive feeling were associated with harmful drinking in both genders. However, household income, occupation, and perceived health status were associated with harmful drinking only in men.


Since there are gender differences in harmful drinking and alcohol dependence, gender tailored prevention and intervention strategies for alcohol dependence are necessary including consideration of smoking, stress, and depressive feeling.


alcohol dependence; depression; gender; smoking; survey

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.

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