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Daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population: Prevalence and associated factors

Tore Bonsaksen (Department of Occupational Therapy, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway and Department of Health Studies, VID Specialized University - Sandnes, Sandnes, Norway)
Trond Heir (Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Oslo, Norway)
Laila Skogstad (Department of Research, Sunnaas Sykehus HF, Nesoddtangen, Norway and Department of Nursing and Health Promotion, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Tine K. Grimholt (Department of Nursing and Health Promotion, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Øivind Ekeberg (Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and Department of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Anners Lerdal (Department of Patient Safety and Research, Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital, Oslo, Norway and Department of Interdisciplinary Health Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Inger Schou-Bredal (Department of Nursing Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and Department of Cancer, Oslo University Hospital, Asker, Norway)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Publication date: 29 April 2020



Harmful use of alcohol is a major public health problem. While harm is often researched in the context of heavy drinking episodes, high-frequency drinking, even when drinking moderate quantities, constitutes a health risk in a longer perspective. The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population and to assess sociodemographic, mental health-related and personal resource variables associated with daily use of alcohol.


A cross-sectional survey concerned with health, illness and serious life events was distributed to 5,500 persons in the general population in Norway (response rate 36%). Sociodemographic variables, personal resource variables (general self-efficacy, optimism and extraversion) and psychological distress (current anxiety and/or depression) were assessed with regards to their associations with daily drinking in unadjusted and adjusted regression models.


Daily use of alcohol was reported by 39 persons (2.2%) in the sample (3.1% of men and 1.4% of women). While general self-efficacy, optimism and extraversion were unrelated to daily drinking, the adjusted model revealed that male sex (OR: 2.18, p < 0.05), being unemployed/not in education (OR: 3.10, p < 0.05) and reporting current anxiety and/or depression (OR: 3.12, p < 0.01) were associated with daily use of alcohol.


The study has contributed to the knowledge about daily drinkers in a representative sample of the Norwegian population. A proportion of 2.2% was found to drink alcohol on a daily basis. Compared to their counterparts, the odds of daily drinking were higher for men, unemployed persons and persons reporting current psychological distress. Public health initiatives aiming at reducing harmful use of alcohol may pay particular attention to these subsets of the population.



The authors thank the study participants.

Ethics approval and consent to participate: The Regional Committee for Healthcare Research Ethics was consulted, and, due to the anonymous data collected, no formal ethical approval was required. Consent to participate was given by completing and returning the questionnaire.

Consent for publication: Not applicable.

Availability of data and materials: The data sets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Funding: No funding was obtained for the study.

Authors’ contributions: ISB designed the study. The whole research group contributed to the collection of data. TB performed the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. All authors read, provided input to and approved the final manuscript.


Bonsaksen, T., Heir, T., Skogstad, L., Grimholt, T.K., Ekeberg, Ø., Lerdal, A. and Schou-Bredal, I. (2020), "Daily use of alcohol in the Norwegian general population: Prevalence and associated factors", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 109-121.



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