Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Rising alcohol consumption and a high prevalence of problem drinking in black men and women in Cape Town: the CRIBSA study
  1. Nasheeta Peer1,
  2. Carl Lombard2,
  3. Krisela Steyn3,
  4. Naomi Levitt3,4
  1. 1Non-communicable Disease Research Unit, Medical Research Council (MRC), Durban, South Africa
  2. 2Biostatistics Unit, MRC, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa
  4. 4Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Medicine, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nasheeta Peer, Non-communicable Disease Research Unit, Medical Research Council, 491 Ridge Road, Overport, Durban, 4001, South Africa; nasheeta.peer{at}


Background To determine the prevalence and determinants of problematic alcohol use (CAGE ≥2) in 25–74-year-old black population in Cape Town in 2008/2009 and examine the changes in self-reported alcohol consumption between 1990 and 2008/2009 in 25–64-year-olds.

Methods In 2008/2009, a representative cross-sectional sample, stratified for age and sex, was randomly selected from the same townships sampled in 1990. Socio-demographic characteristics, the ability to cope with psychosocial stress (sense of coherence) and adverse life events were determined. Ordinal logistic regression analysis assessed the determinants of problem drinking.

Results There were 1099 participants, 392 men and 707 women, in 2008/2009. Prevalence of alcohol consumption in 2008/2009 (men: 68.5%, 95% CI 62.7 to 73.7; women: 27.4%, 95% CI 23.7 to 31.5) was higher than in 1990 (men: 56.7%, women: 15.1%). Prevalence of problem drinking was significantly higher in men (49.7%, 95% CI 44.6 to 54.9) than in women (18.1% 95% CI 15.3 to 21.2) (p<0.001). In men, greater alcohol use was associated with >7 years of education (p=0.012), being unemployed compared with employed (p=0.008) and coping poorly with stress (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.05, p=0.042), and in women with spending more than half their life in the city (p<0.001) and coping poorly with stress (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.04, p=0.039). The odds for greater alcohol use with increasing number of adverse life events, after adjusting for the other factors, was significant in men (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.19, p=0.010) and women (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.16, p=0.005).

Conclusions Problem drinking is a major problem in this population and requires urgent interventions to curtail the misuse.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.