Alcohol and smoking consumption behaviours in older Australian adults: prevalence, period and socio-demographic differentials in the DYNOPTA sample

  • Richard A. Burns
  • Carole L. Birrell
  • David Steel
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Kaarin J. Anstey
Original Paper



Alcohol consumption and tobacco use are key risk factors for chronic disease and health burden across the adult lifespan. We estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption and smoking by age and time period in adults from mid to old age.


Participants (n = 50,652) were drawn from the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project and were compared with Australian National Health Survey data. Alcohol and smoking consumption DYNOPTA data were weighted to the estimated resident population of the sampling frame for each contributing study according to age and sex distributions within major statistical regions.


Comparisons in the rates of smoking and alcohol consumption between DYNOPTA and other national surveys were comparable. Males were more likely to be (RRR = 2.12) or have been smokers (RRR = 2.97), whilst females were more likely to be non-drinkers (RRR = 2.52). Period effects were also identified; higher prevalence rates in consumption of alcohol (RRR = 3.21) and smoking (RRR = 1.67) for those contributing studies from the early 1990’s, in comparison with those studies from the latter half of the decade, were reported.


Over a decade, prevalence rates for high-risk consumption of alcohol and current smoking behaviour declined and suggest the possible impact of government health policy, with targeted-health policies, that included bans on public smoking, and a toughening of legislation against alcohol-related crime.


Alcohol Smoking Epidemiology prevalence Substance use 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Burns
    • 1
  • Carole L. Birrell
    • 2
  • David Steel
    • 2
  • Paul Mitchell
    • 3
  • Kaarin J. Anstey
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and WellbeingAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Statistical and Survey MethodologyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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