Alcohol drinking patterns and prevalence of alcohol-abuse and dependence in the Israel national health survey

Yehuda D. Neumark*, Catalina Lopez-Quintero, Alexander Grinshpoon, Daphna Levinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Coexistence of disparate religious/cultural mores with regard to alcohol drinking within the changing social milieu of Israel provides an informative environment for investigation of alcohol consumption patterns and alcohol-related mental disorders. Method: A national population-based survey of Israeli adults was conducted as part of the WHO/World Mental Health Survey initiative. Logistic regression models accommodated the complex sampling design and accounted for potential confounders. Results: Half of the 4,859 respondents reported any alcohol consumption in the year prior to interview; 5% drink 3 or more times weekly. DSM-IV criteria for alcohol-abuse or dependence (lifetime) were met by 4.3% of respondents. Significantly higher rates were found among males (AOR, adjusted odds ratio=7.3), younger adults (AOR-5.0), immigrants from the former Soviet Union (AOR=2.0), and those who were never married (AOR= 1.6). Limitations: Under-reporting remains a potential concern in health behavior surveys, particularly in the face of opposing religious norms. Conclusions: The lifetime prevalence of alcohol abuse in Israel is identical to other European countries while drinking levels are considerably lower, suggesting a biological sensitivity alongside socio-cultural factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


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