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Addiction. 1996 Sep;91(9):1307-23.

The changes in the social class distribution of moderate and high alcohol consumption and of alcohol-related disabilities over time in Stockholm County and in Sweden.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Sciences, Sundbyberg, Sweden.


The purpose of this paper was to analyse the role of social class concerning changes in alcohol consumption and severe alcohol-related problems from the end of the 1960s to the 1990s in Stockholm County, and in the whole of Sweden for consumption. Survey data showed that the prevalence of moderate and/or high alcohol consumption in adults of both sexes was highest among non-manual employees at medium and high level, in 1967 as well as in 1980 in the whole of Sweden. After 1980, an equalization occurred. A similar change in the social class pattern of alcohol consumption was noted in young people. We analysed all 36,404 male and 10,648 female hospitalizations and all the 3175 male and 713 female deaths with a diagnosis of alcoholism, alcohol psychosis or alcohol intoxication in Stockholm County during 1970-86 (1970-84 for mortality) linked to individual census data. There was a greater increase in rates among women than among men, especially among women outside the labour market. We found pronounced social class differences between manual and non-manual employees, which widened up to 1986 (1984 for mortality)-a period with an initial increase and a subsequent decrease in alcohol consumption. Thus, the changes in consumption and alcohol-related problems developed differently in principal social classes over time, suggesting that an expanded theory on alcohol consumption in the population should take socio-economic factors into account.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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