Assam women top list of alcohol consumers in India, says health ministry survey
Women from Assam consume much more alcohol than their counterparts across the country, according to the findings of a recent survey released by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
The ministry’s 2019-20 data showed that 26.3% women in Assam, who are in the 15-49 years’ age category, consume alcohol, which is the highest among all states and union territories (UTs).
The corresponding national figure in that category is 1.2%.
Meghalaya is at 8.7%.
All figures for all other states and union territories are under 10%.
The figures included in the report are from the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4), which was conducted in 2015-16.
However, the NFHS-5 report for 2018-19 is yet to be released.
The data for NFHS-3, which was conducted in 2005-06, had revealed 7.5% women in Assam in the 15-49 years’ age category had reported to have consumed alcohol.
Five states were ahead of Assam in that list, headed by women from Arunachal Pradesh (33.6%), Sikkim (19.1%), Chhattisgarh (11.4%), Jharkhand (9.9%) and Tripura (9.6%).
The corresponding figure for Assam had jumped from 7.5% in NFHS-3 to 26.3% in NFHS-4.
But there was a dip in alcohol consumption in the similar category in Arunachal Pradesh to 3.3%, Sikkim (0.3%), Chhattisgarh (0.2%), Jharkhand (0.3%) and Tripura (0.8%).
Around 35.6% men in Assam in the 15-49 years’ age category consume alcohol, as compared to the national figure of 29.2%.
Men from Arunachal Pradesh are found to be most partial towards alcohol at 59%.
The report cited that 44.8% women in Assam consume alcohol around once a week, as compared to the national figure of 35%.
Similarly, 51.9% of men from Assam consume alcohol once a week, while the pan-India statistics is 40.7%.
Prevalence of tobacco use among men and women in the 15-49 years’ age category in Assam was recorded at 17.7% and 60%, respectively, as compared to 6.8% and 44.5%, respectively, in the rest of the country.