From a total population of 10,766 Swedish 50- to 59-year-old women, 6,917 (64.2%) participated in the Women's Health in Lund Area (WHILA) study, and among them 6,623 (95.7%) answered the questions on alcohol consumption. One out of 4 women (26.0%) consumed no alcohol in an ordinary week (non-drinkers), 57.4% consumed not more than 83 g alcohol, 12.5% consumed 84-167 g and 4.2% consumed 168 g or more. The weekly drinkers had a median consumption of 40.0 g alcohol (range 2.5-1,036.0) and the main sort of alcohol was wine. Comparing the four drinking groups, most differences occurred between the non-drinking and the weekly drinking women. The non-drinkers had lower socio-demographic status, poorer health and more symptoms, especially physical symptoms. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, most associations between non-drinking and lower socio-demographic status remained.