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The impact of the geographical location of residence and the type of community on alcohol consumption habits in Greece
© The Author(s) 2006
Published: 28 February 2006
Since alcohol-usage indicators have rapidly increased over the last decades, alcohol-abuse represents a major public-health issue. Taking into consideration that changes in alcoholic beverages consumption have been associated with the shifting character of the Hellenic society (increased urbanization, industrialization and tourism), the purpose of the study is to reveal the impact of the geographical location of residence and the type of community on alcohol consumption habits.
Materials and methods
This study is part of a large ongoing survey on preventive and screening practices in Greece, which is organized by the PACMeR (Panhellenic Association for Continual Medical Research). For this project PACMeR physicians employed data coming from PACMeR trials' questionnaires. A sample of 5499 Hellenic individuals (2948 female, 2551 male, age range 21–97) entered the study and answered the questionnaires during a face-to-face interview. Safety data storing was assured by SESy_Europe Database, a 3-component database that it is dedicated to population-based cross-sectional surveys on prevention and screening activities. Alcohol consumption data was therefore abstracted from the database. Alcohol patterns were analysed using x2 test, likelihood ratio x2 test and Mantel-Haenszel test.
The proportion of individuals consuming alcohol is notably higher in Crete Island (44.8%) and the Aegean Islands (41.9%) and lower in the Ionian Islands (38.5%) and the mainland of Greece (33.6%). Among men the proportion of alcohol usage is: Aegean Islands (71.4%), Ionian Islands (69.8%), Crete Island (67.4%), and the mainland of Greece (53.2%). The proportion of male ex-alcohol users is elevated in Crete (7.6%) when compared with the rest of Greece (3.9%). Among women the proportion alcohol of alcohol usage is slightly higher in Crete (20.1%) and the Ionian Islands (20.3%) than in the Aegean Islands (17.6%) and the mainland of Greece (16.3%). Residence (urban VS rural areas) don't play an important role in overall analysis (p = 0.3037) and among males (p = 0.2040). When female individuals were considered a fair but statistically significant difference (p = 0.0389) in alcohol users (urban users 18.9% VS rural users 16.3%) is found.
People living in the islands and urban communities are at major risk for alcohol dependence. Targeted campaigns aiming to education and promotion of alcohol-free lifestyles should be intensified in these areas
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