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The differences in drinking patterns between Finnish-speaking majority and Swedish-speaking minority in Finland

Paljarvi, Tapio, Suominen, S., Koskenvuo, M., Winter, T. and Kauhanen, J. 2009. The differences in drinking patterns between Finnish-speaking majority and Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. European Journal of Public Health 19 (3) , pp. 278-284. 10.1093/eurpub/ckp007

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Background: This study aims to examine whether the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland differ from the Finnish-speaking majority in respect to alcohol consumption and, whether such differences could be explained by aspects of social capital measured by both individual and area level variables. Methods: This cross-sectional dataset consisted of 17 352 Finnish speakers (baseline response rate 40%) and 2018 Swedish speakers (baseline response rate 37%), aged 25–59 years. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to analyse the differences in alcohol consumption between the language groups, and to adjust for several potential individual and area level confounders. Results: Finnish-speaking men and women reported more frequent drunkenness, suffered more frequent hangovers, and had alcohol-induced pass-outs significantly more often than men and women in the Swedish-speaking population. Demographic, social, or environmental factors did not explain the observed differences in drinking patterns between these groups. Active social participation, social engagement, and trust in others were significantly related to drinking patterns only among Finnish speakers, but not among Swedish speakers. Conclusions: Drinking patterns are likely to have a direct impact on the health differences between the two populations, especially in relation to alcohol-related acute harm. It seems unlikely that the effect of social capital on the health differences between the two populations would be mediated through drinking patterns.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: alcohol drinking minority groups social behaviour social environment
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1101-1262
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2020 02:55

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