When studying long-term effects of alcohol consumption on health, the stability of alcohol consumption should be known. In this paper the development and stability of alcohol consumption were investigated. Seven measurements of alcohol consumption were carried out over a period of 20 years, starting at age 13 years, in a cohort of 65 men and 85 women. Effects of age, gender, and type of beverage on the stability of drinking as a dichotomous variable (drink or abstain) and on the stability of relative amounts of alcohol consumption were analyzed. The stability of the drink/abstain dichotomy was high (odds ratios >4) and increased with age. The stability of relative amounts of alcohol consumption was moderate (rS <0.6), and no effect of age was found. No sex effects were found, while the consumption of beer often showed higher stability than that of wine and spirits.
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