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Original scientific paper

Increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown: Truth or false?

Davorka Sutlović orcid id ; University of Split, University Department of Health Studies, Split, Croatia; Department of Toxicology and Pharmacogenetics, University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia
Sanja Mandić ; School of Medicine, J.J. Strossmayer University - Department of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Centre, Osijek, Croatia
Nermina Korać ; Institute of Occupational Health Sarajevo, Laboratory for Toxicology Studies and Sanitary Work Environment, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Marina Nestić ; Department of Forensic Medicine and Criminology, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia
Vesna Horvat ; School of Medicine, J.J. Strossmayer University, Department of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Centre, Osijek, Croatia
Ivana Vapa ; Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia
Vera Lukić ; University of Belgrade Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia
Maja Vujović ; Department of Pharmacy and Toxicology, Medicine Faculty, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
Marija Definis-Gojanović ; Department of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Cytology, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia; Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Split, School of Medicine, Split, Croatia

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Introduction: The lives of most people around the world have changed since the onset of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (SARS-CoV - severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus). According to the WHO data, the first cases in Croatia were registered on February 26, in Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 5, and in Serbia on March 10, 2020. The assumption was that due to stress caused by imposed isolation, the alcohol consumption began to increase.

Methods: In order to obtain information on alcohol consumption in the period before and during Covid-19 lockdown, an online anonymous survey was conducted, in which a total of 930 persons participated: 542 from Croatia, 219 from Bosnia and Herzego-vina, and 169 from Serbia.

Results: Among those who completed the survey were 659 women and 271 men, mostly between 20-45 years old, with higher or secondary education. Most were employed, living in urban areas with a larger population. The obtained results did not show the influence of lockdown on alcohol consumption. On the contrary, 20.21% of participants, who had previously consumed alco-hol, answered that they stopped consuming during the lockdown. Only 0.43% of participants started consuming alcohol precisely because of isolation.

Conclusions: This research sheds new light on the daily practice of people during Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Balkans, known as a region where alcohol consumption is quite widespread.


alcohol consumption, COVID-19, lockdown

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