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Journal Articles Addictive Behaviors Year : 2020

The epidemiology of alcohol use disorders cross-nationally: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys

1 NIH - National Institutes of Health [Bethesda, MD, USA]
2 UNSW - University of New South Wales [Sydney]
3 HMS - Harvard Medical School [Boston]
4 University of Otago [Dunedin, Nouvelle-Zélande]
5 UQ [All campuses : Brisbane, Dutton Park Gatton, Herston, St Lucia and other locations] - The University of Queensland
6 AL-Qadisiyah University
7 IMIM - Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute [Barcelona, Spain]
8 Universidade Federal de São Paulo
9 NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa = NOVA University Lisbon
10 IRCCS - Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico
11 University College Hospital [Ibadan, Nigeria]
12 Shanghai Jiao Tong University [Shanghai]
13 National Center of Public Health and Analyses
14 UOB - University of Balamand [Liban]
15 EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP]
16 LPPS (URP_4057) - Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé
17 University of Ibadan
18 CUHK - The Chinese University of Hong Kong [Hong Kong]
19 Ministry of Health [Jérusalem]
20 Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research
21 INPRF - National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz [Mexico City]
22 National School of Public Health, Management and Professional Development
23 University of Michigan [Ann Arbor]
24 Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology [Warsaw]
25 Consejería de Sanidad de Murcia, Ciber de Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)
26 Cundinamarca University
27 UBA - Universidad de Buenos Aires [Buenos Aires]
28 National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry [Tokyo, Japan]
29 Trimbos Institute, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction
30 Dordt College
31 University Medellin
32 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
33 St George Hospital University Medical Center, Beirut
Nathan Tintle
  • Function : Author
Ronald Kessler


Background: Prevalences of Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) and Mental Health Disorders (MHDs) in many individual countries have been reported but there are few cross-national studies. The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative standardizes methodological factors facilitating comparison of the prevalences and associated factors of AUDs in a large number of countries to identify differences and commonalities. Methods: Lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates of DSM-IV AUDs, MHDs, and associations were assessed in the 29 WMH surveys using the WHO CIDI 3.0. Results: Prevalence estimates of alcohol use and AUD across countries and WHO regions varied widely. Mean lifetime prevalence of alcohol use in all countries combined was 80%, ranging from 3.8% to 97.1%. Combined average population lifetime and 12-month prevalence of AUDs were 8.6% and 2.2% respectively and 10.7% and 4.4% among non-abstainers. Of individuals with a lifetime AUD, 43.9% had at least one lifetime MHD and 17.9% of respondents with a lifetime MHD had a lifetime AUD. For most comorbidity combinations, the MHD preceded the onset of the AUD. AUD prevalence was much higher for men than women. 15% of all lifetime AUD cases developed before age 18. Higher household income and being older at time of interview, married, and more educated, were associated with a lower risk for lifetime AUD and AUD persistence. Conclusions: Prevalence of alcohol use and AUD is high overall, with large variation worldwide. The WMH surveys corroborate the wide geographic consistency of a number of well-documented clinical and epidemiological findings and patterns.

Dates and versions

hal-03124040 , version 1 (28-01-2021)



Meyer Glantz, Chrianna Bharat, Louisa Degenhardt, Nancy Sampson, Kate Scott, et al.. The epidemiology of alcohol use disorders cross-nationally: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys. Addictive Behaviors, 2020, 102, pp.106128. ⟨10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106128⟩. ⟨hal-03124040⟩
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