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Keywords:

  • AUDIT;
  • alcohol dependence;
  • alcohol problems;
  • cross-cultural;
  • drinking pattern;
  • gender differences;
  • Gross Domestic Product;
  • Human Development Index;
  • rate of abstaining

ABSTRACT

Aims  This paper examines (i) gender and country differences in negative consequences related to drinking; (ii) relative rates of different consequences; and (iii) country-level predictors of consequences.

Design, setting and participants  Multi-level analyses used survey data from the Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS) collaboration.

Measurements  Measures included 17 negative consequences grouped into (i) high endorsement acute, (ii) personal and (iii) social. Country-level measures included average frequency and quantity of drinking, percentage who were current drinkers, gross domestic product (GDP) and Human Development Index (HDI).

Findings  Overall, the three groupings of consequences were reported by 44%, 12% and 7% of men and by 31%, 6% and 3% of women, respectively. More men than women endorsed all consequences, but gender differences were greatest for consequences associated with chronic drinking and social consequences related to male roles. The highest prevalence of consequences was in Uganda and lowest in Uruguay. Personal and social consequences were more likely in countries with higher usual quantity, fewer current drinkers and lower scores on GDP and HDI. However, significant interactions with individual-level quantity indicated a stronger relationship between consequences and usual quantity among drinkers in countries with lower quantity, more current drinkers and higher scores on GDP and HDI.

Conclusions  Both gender and country need to be taken into consideration when assessing adverse drinking consequences. Individual measures of alcohol consumption and country-level variables are associated with experiencing such consequences. Additionally, country-level variables affect the strength of the relationship between usual quantity consumed by individuals and adverse consequences.