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Keywords:

  • alcohol use;
  • prevalence;
  • Ethiopia

We describe here a prevalence study of alcohol dependence and problem drinking in a representative sample of 10203 adults in Addis Ababa. At the first stage the study employed a 4-scale screening instrument (CAGE) and at the second stage the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used to identify cases of alcohol dependence. Of the total population, 2.7% responded positively to at least 2 of the 4 CAGE items, fulfilling the definition of problem drinking. By use of the CIDI, the weighted lifetime and one-month prevalence of alcohol dependence was 1.0% and 0.8%, respectively. It occurred almost exclusively among men. The prevalence of problem drinking increased with increasing age. The trend was statistically significant (P for trend = 0.03). On the other hand, there was a statistically significant negative trend in the association with educational level, use decreasing with increasing educational attainment (P for trend=0.0006). There was also a statistically significant 39% increased risk of alcohol use with employment. The association with ethnicity was not statistically significant. Only sex was significantly associated with alcohol dependence. Women had a 84%) less risk of becoming dependent compared to men.