Data on prevalence of female alcoholism are scarce, especially outside North America. It is even more rare that prevalence is estimated using clinical interviews, as well as by utilizing multiple sources of information. Our sample consisted of five cohorts of adult women (n = 3130) in a mainly suburban area. In a first phase we screened for alcohol-related problems. In a second phase a strategic sample was interviewed (n = 399). Prevalence was calculated for clinical and CIDI-SAM diagnoses, both according to DSM-III-R, also taking medical record data into consideration. It was found that life-time prevalence of alcohol dependence and abuse was 3.27% and 12-month prevalence was 1.49%. Agreement over alcohol dependence was very high for the different diagnostic methods, but lower for alcohol abuse. Prevalence of dependency/abuse was not higher in the attrition group. The alcohol abuse concept was found to be relevant, both in epidemiological research and for clinical purposes.