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Clusters within a general adult population of alcohol abstainers

Cryer, Colin, Saunders, Jean, Jenkins, Linda M., Neale, H., Cook, A.C., Peters, Timothy J. (2001) Clusters within a general adult population of alcohol abstainers. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30 (4). pp. 756-765. ISSN 0300-5771. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:8830)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


Background Our previous study found that alcohol abstainers use acute services more and preventative services less than safe level drinkers. The observed relationships between four categories of alcohol consumption and service use were J-shaped for acute services and inverted J-shaped for preventive services. The aim of this paper was to further investigate these relationships.

Methods The design was a health and lifestyle survey of 41 000 randomly-sampled adults in SE England. The response rate was 60%. Distinctive subgroups within the alcohol abstainer group were investigated using cluster analysis, based on sociodemographic and health status variables. Odds ratios for services use for the abstainer clusters, and three alcohol consumption groups were estimated from a logistic regression model which included age, social class, ethnic group, employment status, household composition, whether the respondent was a carer, smoking habit, use of private health insurance, and health status.

Results Two clusters were formed for both males and females. Cluster I comprised, on average, older, frailer, and more disabled people. Cluster 2 comprised younger, healthier people, a greater proportion of whom belonged to ethnic minority groups. Cluster 2 had similar rates of use of Accident & Emergency, GP, optician, and dental services compared with safe level drinkers. Cluster 1's rates differed from those of both Cluster 2 and safe level drinkers in almost all instances.

Conclusions The J- and inverted J-shaped relationships between alcohol consumption and service use, are partly explained by a subgroup of abstainers who are older, of less good health, and who use hospital, clinic, and domiciliary healthcare services much more than safe level drinkers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: alcohol drinking; temperance; health status; health surveys; health care surveys
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2008 13:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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