Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología
versión On-line ISSN 1561-3003
Objectives: Traditionally the variations in alcohol consumption have been studied in terms of individual characteristics. In the present study we intended to assess the contribution of contextual factors and individual factors as well, in the units of alcohol consumed per person per. Methods: We measured variables in two levels: individual and contextual (neighborhoods). The first ones were obtained by means of a cross-sectional survey of people 15 years an older in Havana City. Contextual variables were obtained through interviews with the representatives of the local government in the city. Three multilevel models were used: null model, random intercept models and dependent coefficients model. Results: Our findings suggest that there are variations in the average number of units consumed among neighborhoods and these differences persist after adjusting for individual characteristics; so part of the variations can be attributed to the contexts. Six contextual factors were studied. Four have direct influence in the average number of units consumed and two of them interact with the economic situation of the respondents. For example, people that are unoccupied consume more than those that have an occupation; but the unoccupied ones that live in neighborhoods with numerous alcohol outlets consume more than the unoccupied ones that live in neighborhoods with less alcohol outlets. Conclusions: The results suggest that individual and contextual factors play an important role in structuring the patterns of alcohol consumption in order to design better health promotions and prevention strategies. The high-level alcohol drinkers tend to group in neighborhoods with a large number of alcohol outlets.
Palabras llave : Alcohol consumption; multilevel analysis; regional differences; contexts.