SELF-REPORTED NEVER-DRINKERS IN ENGLAND 1994–2003: CHARACTERISTICS AND TRENDS IN ADULTS AGED 18–54 YEARS
This paper describes prevalences, time-trends and characteristics of self-reported never-drinkers, during the period 1994–2003, focussing particularly on white adults aged 18–54.Methods
Data on 122,809 adults (18 +) were obtained from the Health Survey for England (HSfE). Logistic regressions were used to estimate time trends in self-reported never-drinking, and associations between never-drinking and living alone, and educational qualification. Analyses were stratified by gender, age group and period.Results
The overall proportion of white, female never-drinkers was 5.5%, rising monotonically with age. Proportions among men were much lower, with the lowest proportion (1.1%) in the 30–54 age group. Odds of never-drinking increased by 3% per year in those aged 30–54, a trend not explained by any covariates. Smaller increases were seen among those aged 18–29. Never-drinking was strongly associated with living with another adult and with lower qualification. The association with qualification increased over time among young women, and the association with living with another adult increased among men aged 30–54.Conclusions
Never-drinkers are a significant minority in England, whose prevalence rose, between 1994 and 2003, among adults aged under 55 years. The prevalence varies considerably by age, sex, and social characteristics, and the social discrepancies in never-drinking appear to be widening.