Background: Network Scale Up (NSU) is applied in many settings to estimate the size of hidden populations.
The visibility of alcohol consumption - as a hidden behavior - in Iran has not been yet set. Our aim is to estimate
the visibility factor (VF) of alcohol consumption in Iran which is an Islamic country in the Middle East.
Methods: Ninety persons who had a history of alcohol consumption were recruited. Relationships in network
were aligned in three main subgroups: immediate family, extended family, and non-family. According to the
game of contact methodology, participants answered questions about total and aware number of persons
they know in each relationship category. VF was calculated by dividing total number of people aware about
the respondent’s alcohol consumption by total number of respondent’s social network. The 95% confidence
intervals (CIs) were computed through bootstrapping.
Findings: The mean and standard deviation (SD) of participants’ age was 32.9 ± 10.2, the sex ratio was 3.
Overall VF (95% CI) was 40% (33% to 47%). VF was estimated at 44% and 23% among men and women’s
network, respectively. The immediate family was the highest informed group, followed by non-family and
extended family members.
Conclusion: The visibility of alcohol consumption in Iran was not high. This is due to religious and legal
prohibitions around it