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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727

Abstract

VALENCIA MARTIN, José L.; GONZALEZ, Mª José  and  GALAN, Iñaki. Methodological issues in the measurement of alcohol consumption: the importance of drinking patterns. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.4, pp.433-446. ISSN 2173-9110.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S1135-57272014000400002.

Measurement of alcohol consumption is essential for proper investigation of its effects on health. However, its estimation is extremely complex, because of the diversity of forms of alcohol consumption and their highly heterogeneous classification. Moreover, each form may have different effects on health; therefore, not considering the most important drinking patterns when estimating alcohol intake could mask the important role of consumption patterns in these effects. All these issues make it very difficult to compare the results of different studies and to establish consistent associations for understanding the true effects of alcohol consumption, both overall and specific to each drinking pattern. This article reviews the main methods and sources of information available in Spain for estimating the most important aspects of alcohol consumption, as well as the most frequent methodological problems encountered in the measurement and classification of drinking patterns.

Keywords : Alcohol consumption; Epidemiologic measurements; Methods; Binge drinking; Alcoholic beverages.

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