Prevalence and Determinants of Binge Drinking in Middle Age in a Transitional Post-communist Country: A Population-based Study in Tirana, Albania

Genc Burazeri*, Jeremy D. Kark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


Aims: To assess the prevalence and determinants of binge drinking in the middle-age population of transitional post-communist Albania, for which data were previously unavailable. Methods: A population-based sample aged 35-74 years, interviewed and examined in Tirana in 2003-2006, included 450 men and 235 women for whom data on alcohol intake were collected (65.5% response). Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was used to assess the association of drinking patterns with sociodemographic, socioeconomic and psychosocial characteristics and coronary risk factors. Results: Age-standardized to the 2005 census, 9.2% (95% confidence interval, CI = 6.5-11.9%) and 10.3% (95% CI = 7.4-13.1%) of men reported two to three or more annual episodes of drunkenness and hangovers, respectively. In women, the prevalence of both these markers of binging was 1.4% (95% CI = 0-3.1%). Among men, 8.9% (95% CI = 6.2-11.6%) reported drinking >= 60 g alcohol per session. In multivariable-adjusted models in men, binge drinking was related to low educational level (odds ratio, OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.0-3.3), financial loss in the pyramid collapse (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.0-2.5) and religiosity (inversely) in both Muslims and Christians (OR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.1-0.4). Conclusions: Among men in this transitional Southeast European country, social disadvantage and financial stress appear to promote alcohol abuse (which is rare in women), and traditionalism may be protective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this