Advertisement

International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 215–223 | Cite as

Seasonality of alcohol-related phenomena in Estonia

  • Siiri Silm
  • Rein AhasEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

We studied alcohol consumption and its consequences as a seasonal phenomenon in Estonia and analysed the social and environmental factors that may cause its seasonal rhythm. There are two important questions when researching the seasonality of human activities: (1) whether it is caused by natural or social factors, and (2) whether the impact of the factors is direct or indirect. Often the seasonality of social phenomena is caused by social factors, but the triggering mechanisms are related to environmental factors like temperature, precipitation, and radiation via the circannual calendar. The indicators of alcohol consumption in the current paper are grouped as: (1) pre-consumption phenomena, i.e. production, tax and excise, sales (beer, wine and vodka are analysed separately), and (2) post-consumption phenomena, i.e. alcohol-related crime and traffic accidents and the number of people detained in lockups and admitted to alcohol treatment clinics. In addition, seasonal variability in the amount of alcohol advertising has been studied, and a survey has been carried out among 87 students of Tartu University. The analysis shows that different phenomena related to alcohol have a clear seasonal rhythm in Estonia. The peak period of phenomena related to beer is in the summer, from June to August and the low point is during the first months of the year. Beer consumption correlates well with air temperature. The consumption of vodka increases sharply at the end of the year and in June; the production of vodka does not have a significant correlation with negative temperatures. The consumption of wine increases during summer and in December. The consequences of alcohol consumption, expressed as the rate of traffic accidents or the frequency of medical treatment, also show seasonal variability. Seasonal variability of alcohol consumption in Estonia is influenced by natural factors (temperature, humidity, etc.) and by social factors (celebrations, vacations, etc.). However, distinguishing between impacts of direct and indirect relationships is complicated, as they are interlinked.

Keywords

Seasonality Alcohol Alcohol consumption Drinking Estonia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank all the businesses consulted, the Road Administration, the police, Tartu House of Detention (lockup), the Ministry of Finance, officials at Tartu Alcohol Treatment Clinic and doctors at Tartu University Clinic for data and advice, and all the students at Tartu University who participated in the survey. This work has been supported by grant 5836 from the Estonian Science Foundation.

References

  1. Ahas R (1999) Eestlaste sündimuse sesoonne rütm käesoleval sajandil (seasonality of Estonian births). Publ Inst Geogr Univ Tartu 85:165–170Google Scholar
  2. Cho YI, Johnson TP, Fendrich M (2001) Monthly variation in self-reports of alcohol consumption. J Stud Alcohol 62:268–272PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Eesti Päevaleht Online (2002) Tallinn piirab Volbriööl alkoholi müüki (Tallinn prohibits alcohol sale during spring holidays). http://www.beerguide.ee/uudised_04_2002.html#tln_volber2002
  4. Erilaid E (2003) Külm kevad pärsib õllejoomist (Cool spring decreases beer-drinking). http://www.postimees.ee/index.html?op=lugu&rubriik=5&id=102675&number=818
  5. Estonian Institute of Economic Research (2002) Alkoholi tarbimine ja alkoholipoliitika (elanike hinnangute alusel) [Alcohol consumption and alcohol policy (according to people’s assessments)]. http://www.ki.ee
  6. Estonian Institute of Economic Research (2003) Pärnu metanoolitragöödia õppetund oli üürike (The lesson of the Pärnu methanol tragedy was ephemeral). http://www.postimees.ee/index.html?op=lugu&rubriik=49&id=98775&number=793
  7. Fitzgerald JL, Mulford HA (1984) Seasonal changes in alcohol consumption and related problems in Iowa, 1979–1980. J Stud Alcohol 45:363–368PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Lam D, Miron J (1991) Seasonality of birth in human populations. Soc Biol 38:51–78PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Lemmens PHHM, Knibbe RA (1993) Seasonal variation in survey and sales estimates of alcoho consumption. J Stud Alcohol 54:157–163PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. McGrath RE, Yahia M (1993) Preliminary data on seasonally related alcohol dependence. J Clin Psychiatry 54:260–262Google Scholar
  11. McLellan BA, Vingilis E, Liban CB, Stoduto G, McMurtry RY, Nelson WR (1990) Blood alcohol testing of motor vehicle crash admission at a regional trauma unit. J Trauma 30:418–421PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Morken G (2001) Seasonal variation of violence. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p010437.html
  13. Myagkov AY (2004) Temporal characteristics of suicides. Sotsiol Issled 3:83Google Scholar
  14. Normstrom T (1988) Alcohol and suicide in Scandinavia. Br J Addict 83(5):553–559PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Poikolainen K (1982) Seasonality of alcohol-related hospital admissions has implications for prevention. Drug Alcohol Depend 10:65–69CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Postimees (2003) Eesti elanike hinnangul hävitab rahvas end alkoholiga (According to Estonian opinion people deplete themselves with alcohol). http://www.postimees.ee/index.html?op=lugu&rubriik=49&id=98833&number=793
  17. Roenneberg T Aschoff J (1990) Annual rhythm of human reproduction. J Biol Rhythms 5:195–239PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Segal B, Korolenko C (1990) Addictive disorders in arctic climates: theory, research, and practice at the Novosibirsk Institute. Haworth Press, NewYorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Schmid H, Ter Bogt T, Godeau E, Hublet A, Dias SF, Fotiou A (2003) Drunkenness among young people: a cross-national comparison. J Stud Alcohol 64(5):650–661PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Tähismaa I (2001) Metanoolitragöödia kasvatas hüppeliselt poeviina müüki (The tragedy of wood spirit araises steeply the sale of legal vodka). Äripäev 29.10.2001. http://www.aripaev.ee/2028/uud_uudidx_202803.html
  21. Udry JR, Morris NM (1967) Seasonality of coitus and seasonality of birth. Demography 4:673–679Google Scholar
  22. Uitenbroek DG (1996) Seasonal variation in alcohol use. J Stud Alcohol 57:47–52PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

Personalised recommendations