Almost 12% of Czech Adults Admit Drinking Excessively At Least Once a Week

In 2021, 15.4% of the Czech population reported regular drinking of alcohol, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points from 2020, according to a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health. Photo credit: Freepik

Czech Republic, 2 June (BD) – On World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, the Czech National Institute of Health published the results of a survey on tobacco and alcohol use in the Czech Republic. Despite occasional fluctuations from year to year, over the last ten years a high degree of stability can be observed.

“Alcohol drinking is strongly related to tobacco smoking. Among moderate alcohol drinkers, only about a quarter (22.1%) are smokers, but among risky and harmful drinkers, about 40% are smokers, which is significantly more. The health risks to the human body are quite logically amplified by the consumption of both of these harmful addictive substances,” said Marie Nejedlá, Head of the Public Health Support Centre.

15.4% of respondents reported regular drinking of alcohol (i.e. every day or every two days). This is a decrease of 4.4 percentage points compared to the previous year. Frequent binge drinking, i.e. weekly or more often, is reported by 11.6% of respondents (men 17.8%, women 5.6%).

Average annual alcohol consumption per person (converted to litres of 100% alcohol) is an important indicator of the overall level of consumption in Czech society. It allows for comparison of consumption in relation to demographic characteristics of the population and in relation to statistically recorded consumption and is also useful for international comparison. Including non-drinkers, total alcohol consumption in 2021 was calculated to be 6.9 litres per person, a significant drop from the 2020 figure of 8.0 litres. Alcohol consumption increased slightly from 2016 to 2020 and then declined in 2021 to levels comparable to 2016.

If abstainers are not included in the consumption calculation, the total per capita consumption is 8.3 litres of alcohol (compared to 9.5 litres in 2020, 8.8 litres in 2019, and 8.6 in 2018). Men consume more than double the alcohol of women (11.9 litres compared to 4.7 litres).

The 25-44 and 45-64 age groups have the highest average alcohol consumption (8.6 litres and 9.2 litres respectively). Adults aged 65 and over have the lowest consumption (7.1 litres). There is also a difference between urban and rural populations. Leaving aside non-drinkers, consumption among rural residents is higher than that of urban residents (9.3 litres vs. 8.1 litres).

7.3% of respondents (10.6% of men and 4.1% of women) fell into the category of ‘harmful alcohol consumption’. In this study, harmful alcohol consumption is defined as an average daily intake of 60 grams or more of ethanol for men and 40 grams or more of ethanol for women.

“A critical analysis of the consumption habits of Czech adults over the last ten years suggests a high degree of stability. Internationally, the Czech Republic is one of the countries with very high alcohol consumption. This obviously has negative health, social and economic consequences. Reducing these harms requires setting up a more effective system of measures to reduce demand and supply,” said Barbora Macková, Director of the National Institute of Alcohol.

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