Recent Alcohol Intake as Estimated by the Health Habits and History Questionnaire, the Harvard Semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire, and a More Detailed Alcohol Intake Questionnaire Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Epidemiologic studies often rely on food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) to collect information on alcoholic beverage intake. However, estimation of alcohol intake using FFQs may be of some concern because of limited questions concerning alcohol intake. The authors compared estimates of alcohol intake during the 12-24 months prior to interview obtained from the Health Habits and History Questionnaire and the Harvard Semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire with those from a more extensive alcohol questionnaire, the Drinking Pattern Questionnaire, among 133 healthy subjects (75 men, 58 women) aged 35-73 years, residents of western New York State. Data were collected in 1995 during two separate interviewer-administered computer-assisted interviews conducted approximately 2 weeks apart. For each questionnaire, average daily ounces (1 oz = 30 ml) of alcohol intake from alcoholic beverages were calculated as the product of the reported beverage-specific drink size (ounces) and the average daily frequency of intake multiplied by a factor representing the percentage of alcohol provided by each beverage. Estimates of total alcohol and liquor intake, but not of beer and wine intake, tended to be higher for the Drinking Pattern Questionnaire compared with the FFQs. Spearman's correlation coefficients ranged from 0.69 to 0.84. These results suggest that although the Drinking Pattern Questionnaire produced higher estimates than either FFQ, both FFQs provide a reasonable ranking of participants' alcohol intake.


  • McCann, SE
  • Marshall, JR
  • Trevisan, M
  • Russell, M
  • Muti, Paola
  • Markovic, N
  • Chan, AWK
  • Freudenheim, JL

publication date

  • August 15, 1999