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Indicators for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD)

Heavy episodic drinking (Indicator 4)

The indicator describes the following: The proportion of adolescents and adults who engage in heavy episodic drinking.

This indicator is part of Target (2): At least a 10 per cent reduction in harmful alcohol consumption.

Heavy episodic drinking is defined as drinking more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month in the last 12 months.

Results

Figure 1 shows that for the whole population, the proportion engaging in heavy episodic drinking was stable at around 18 per cent from 2012 to 2016. The figure also includes separate lines for the 16-30 and 31-79 age groups. These two groups exhibited slightly different trends. For the 16-30 age group, the proportion fell from 34 per cent to 28 per cent, while for the 31-79 age group, the proportion remained stable at around 13 per cent.

alcohol episodic drinking NCD.jpg

Figure 1The proportion of individuals who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months, as a percentage, age- and gender-standardised. See Table 1 below.

Data source: Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

The data source for this indicator is the Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs.

A description and definitions follow below.

Description 

The Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs is a telephone-based nationwide survey of alcohol, tobacco and drug use among individuals aged 16-79, and undertaken by Statistics Norway on behalf of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The survey is conducted on a representative sample of 3 700 people who are selected from the National Population Register and interviewed via telephone, after having received an information letter regarding the survey. The average response rate for the five survey years 2012-2016 was 57 per cent.  The survey enables trends in alcohol use to be traced back to 2012.

Numerator

  • The proportion of individuals who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months, as a percentage, age- and gender-standardised.

This percentage was estimated on the basis of a question from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). The question reads as follows: “How often have you drunk six units of alcohol or more on a single occasion in the last year?” The response options are: “Never”, “Less than monthly”, ”Monthly”, “Weekly” and “Daily or almost daily”. 

The fact that the age and gender distribution of the population may change over time is taken into account when calculating the figures. The age and gender distribution of the Norwegian population as at 01.01.2012 is used as a standard. 

Table accompanying the figure 

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Whole population 16-79 years old

18

17

18

18

17

Population aged 16 to 30

34

33

32

29

28

Population aged 31 to 79

13

12

13

14

13

Table 1The proportion of individuals who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months, as a percentage, age- and gender-standardised. 

Global indicator definition

Indicator 4. Age-standardised prevalence of heavy episodic drinking among adolescents and adults, as appropriate, within the national context.

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs and the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.