Risk factors associated with alcohol abuse in Canada: longitudinal national population health survey

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University of New Brunswick


Alcohol beverages are popular across Canada and approximately 3.2% of the Canadian population who are older than 15 abused alcohol or were dependent on this substance in 2012 (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2014, p. 1). Furthermore the estimated total cost of alcohol-related harm to Canadians was $14.6 billion per year (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2014, p. 1). Discrete duration analysis and a few different econometric functional forms are used to examine transition from moderate to heavy drinking based on the longitudinal National Population Health Survey which consists of nine cycles collected between 1994 and 2011. The findings suggest that after statistically controlling for variation in other factors men are more likely to become heavy drinkers than women and individuals who are between 15 and 34 years old are more likely to become heavy drinkers than people in older age groups. With regard to gender differences, smoking is a significant risk factor for alcohol abuse, especially among women. Furthermore under some particular circumstances the likelihood of becoming a heavy drinker is similar among men and women.