Changes in alcohol consumption and drinking patterns during 11 years of follow-up among ageing men: The FinDrink study

Jenni Ilomäki, Maarit Jaana Korhonen, Piia Lavikainen, Robert Lipton, Hannes Enlund, Jussi Kauhanen

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Background: Alcohol consumption is often reported to decrease with ageing. We investigated alcohol consumption and drinking patterns in an ageing population-based male sample during an 11-year follow-up period. Methods: This study with baseline and two follow-up examinations (at 4 and 11 years) included 1516 randomly selected participants, aged 42, 48, 54 and 60 years from Eastern Finland. Alcohol consumption and drinking patterns during the year preceding the examination were assessed. Data were analysed using Generalized Estimating Equations and Mixed Models. Results: Over the 11-year study period, the amount of alcohol consumed weekly increased among the 42-year-olds (P < 0.001) and remained constant among the older cohorts. The risk of frequent drinking (alcohol consumption at least twice weekly) increased among all cohorts (OR = 2.04, 95 CI = 1.50-2.79 for 42-year-olds; OR = 1.71, 95 CI = 1.13-2.58 for 48-year-olds; OR = 1.67, 95 CI = 1.16-2.39 for 54-year-olds and OR = 1.67, 95 CI = 1.21-2.29 for 60-year-olds). There was also an increasing probability of heavy consumption (more than 14 weekly drinks) among the 42-year-olds (OR = 1.47, 95 CI = 1.09-2.00). The risk of binging (six-plus drinks at one occasion) decreased among the older participants (OR = 0.65, 95 CI = 0.47-0.89 for 54-year-olds, and OR = 0.56, 95 CI = 0.39-0.81 for 60-year-olds). Conclusion: Finnish men born in 1926-1946 do not seem to decrease drinking while ageing. In contrast those born in 1944-1946 increase drinking until their 60's. This should be taken into consideration in planning health services for aged men in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Drinking behaviour
  • Findrink study
  • Longitudinal study
  • Population study

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