AIMS: The purpose of this nationwide study was to assess the prevalence of probable alcohol abuse (PAA) among women working in geriatric care, and to study its demographics, medical and work-related correlates. METHODS: The employees of geriatric nursing homes and geriatric hospital wards in Iceland with 10 patients or more were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. The response rate was 80% (n=1515), with 96% being women (n=1432). Men were consequently omitted from the study. Questions were included on demographics, psychosocial factors, workplace environment, health behavior, and medical history. PAA was defined as (a) having been given such a diagnosis by a physician, (b) having missed work because of drinking, or (c) if alcohol use was considered a problem by the employee herself, her family, friends, or the employer. RESULTS: A total of 4.8% of the employees fulfilled the criteria for PAA. These women were younger (41 vs. 45 years of age), more often single (25% vs. 15%) or divorced (13% vs. 9%), and less satisfied with work than the other women. Odds ratios for asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, pain syndromes, mental disorders, and work-related accidents were elevated. Despite this, no differences were found concerning amount of sick leave. Their psychosocial work environment was worse but the physical work environment was the same. CONCLUSION: Women with probable alcohol abuse working in nursing homes have significant medical problems and psychosocial morbidity that is not reflected in more sick leave.