Scottish Health Survey 2016 - volume 1: main report

Statistics relating to the health of people living in Scotland.

References and notes

1 See:

2 Mathers C, Stevens G and Mascarenhas M (2009). Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva: World Health Organization. Available from:

3 Grant I, Springbett A, and Graham L (2009). Alcohol attributable mortality and morbidity: alcohol population attributable fractions for Scotland. 2009. ISD Scotland/Scottish Public Health Observatory. Available from:

4 See:

5 See:

6 Giles L and Robinson M (2017). Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy: Monitoring Report 2017. Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland. Available from:

7 Alcohol-Related Hospital Statistics Scotland 2015/16, Edinburgh: NHS National Services
Scotland, Information Services Division, 2016. Available from:

8 Beeston C, Robinson M, Craig N and Graham L (2011). Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy. Setting the Scene: Theory of change and baseline picture. Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland. Available from:

9 Beeston C, McAdams R, Craig N, Gordon R, Graham L, MacPherson M, McAuley A, McCartney G, Robinson M, Shipton D, and Van Heelsum A (2016). Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy. Final Annual Report. Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland. Available from:

10 Katikireddi SV, Whitley E, Lewsey J, Gray L and Leyland AH (2017). Socioeconomic status as an effect modifier of alcohol consumption and harm: analysis of linked cohort data. Lancet Public Health; 2: 267–76.

11 Hope A, Curran J, Bell G & Platts A (2014). Unrecognised and under-reported: the impact of alcohol on people other than the drinker in Scotland. Glasgow: Alcohol Focus Scotland. Available from:

12 Carnie J and Broderick R (2015). Prisoner Survey 2015. Edinburgh: Scottish Prison Service. Available from:

13 Scottish Emergency Department Alcohol Audit (SEDAA) Group. Understanding Alcohol Misuse in Scotland: Harmful Drinking: One: the size of the problem. Edinburgh: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, 2006.

14 Framework for Action: Changing Scotland’s relationship with alcohol. Final business and regulatory impact assessment for minimum price per unit of alcohol as contained in Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2012. Available from:

15 Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Alcohol Report, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2015. Available from:

16 McLean, J, Campbell, P, Macintyre, A, Williams, J, Torrens, C, Maxwell, M, Biggs, H, Pollock, A, and Woodhouse, A (2017). Health, Happiness and Wellbeing in the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood: A Systematic Overview of Population Level Interventions. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

17 The Societal Cost of Alcohol Misuse in Scotland for 2007, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2010. Available from:

18 Sharp C, Marcinkiewicz A and Rutherford L. Attitudes towards alcohol in Scotland: results from the 2014 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland, 2014. Available from:

19 Further information on Scotland Performs can be found at:

20 Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2009. Available from:

21 Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. See:

22 Meier P, Meng Y, Hill-McManus D and Brennan A (2012). Model-Based Appraisal Of Alcohol Minimum Pricing And Off-Licensed Trade Discount Bans In Scotland Using The Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (V 2):- Second Update Based On Newly Available Data. Sheffield: University of Sheffield. Available from:!/file/scotlandjan.pdf

23 Angus C, Holmes J, Pryce R, Meier P and Brennan A (2016). Model-based appraisal of the comparative impact of Minimum Unit Pricing and taxation policies in Scotland: An adaptation of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy model version 3. Sheffield: University of Sheffield.
Available from:!/file/Scotland_report_2016.pdf

24 See:

25 Fairer Scotland Action Plan. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2016 Available from:

26 Health and Social Care Delivery Plan. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. 2016. Available from:

27 Li J, Lovatt M, Eadie D, Dobbie F, Meier P, Holmes J, Hastings G & MacKintosh AM (2017). Public attitudes towards alcohol control policies in Scotland and England: Results from a mixed-methods study, Social Science and Medicine, 177:177-189.

28 Bellis MA, Hughes K, Jones L, Morloe M, Nichols J, McCoy E, Webster J and Sumnall H (2015). Holidays, celebrations, and commiserations: measuring drinking during feasting and fasting to improve national and individual estimates of alcohol consumption. BMC Med; 13(1): 113.

29 Torvik FA, Rognmo K and Tambs K (2012). Alcohol use and mental distress as predictors of non-response in a general population health survey: the HUNT study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; 47(5):805-816.

30 Gorman E, Leyland AH, McCartney G, White IR, Katikireddi SV, Rutherford L, Graham L and Gray L (2014). Assessing the representativeness of population-sampled health surveys through linkage to administrative data on alcohol-related outcomes. American Journal of Epidemiology; 180(9): 941-8.

31 Gorman E, Leyland AH, McCartney G, Katikireddi SV, Rutherford L, Graham L, Robinson M and Gray L (2017). Adjustment for survey non-representativeness using record-linkage: refined estimates of alcohol consumption by deprivation in Scotland. Addiction; 112(7): 1270-1280.

32 Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) alcohol sales and price (updated May 2016). Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2016. Available from:

33 Comparing official statistics across the UK. Government Statistical Service, 2014. Available from:

34 Reid S (2012). Chapter 3: Alcohol consumption. In: Bromley C, Bradshaw P and Given L. (eds.) The 2008 Scottish Health Survey – Volume 1: Main Report. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. 2009. Available from:

35 For participants aged 16 and 17, details on alcohol consumption were collected as part of a special smoking and drinking self-completion questionnaire. Some aged 18 and 19 also completed the self-completion if the interviewer felt it was appropriate. For all other adult participants, the information was collected as part of the face-to-face interview. The method of estimating consumption follows that originally developed for use in the General Household Survey and is also used in the Health Survey for England. For six types of alcoholic drink (normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy, strong beer/lager/cider, spirits/liqueurs, fortified wines, wine, and alcoholic soft drinks), participants were asked about how often they had drunk each one in the past twelve months, and how much they had usually drunk on any one day. The amount given to the latter question was converted into units of alcohol, with a unit equal to half a pint of normal strength beer/lager/cider/alcoholic soft drink, a single measure of spirits, one glass of wine, or one small glass of fortified wine. A half pint of strong beer/lager/cider was equal to 1.5 units. The number of units was then multiplied by the frequency to give an estimate of weekly consumption of each type of drink. The frequency multipliers were:

Drinking frequency

Multiplying factor

Almost every day


5 or 6 times a week


3 or 4 times a week


Once or twice a week


Once or twice a month


One every couple months


Once or twice a year


The separate consumption figures for each type of drink were rounded to two decimal places and then added together to give an overall weekly consumption figure.

36 Participants were first asked if they had drunk alcohol in the past seven days. If they had, they were asked on how many days and, if on more than one, whether they had drunk the same amount on each day or more on one day than others. If they had drunk more on one day than others, they were asked how much they drank on that day. If they had drunk the same on several days, they were asked how much they drank on the most recent of those days. If they had drunk on only one day, they were asked how much they had drunk on that day.

37 Gray L and Leyland AH (2016). Chapter 4: Alcohol Consumption. In: Campbell-Jack D, Hinchliffe S, Rutherford L (eds.) The Scottish Health Survey 2015 – Volume 1. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Available from: /publications/scottish-health-survey-2015-volume-1-main-report/pages/42/


Email: Julie Landsberg, Julie Landsberg

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

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St Andrew's House
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