Older, richer Aussies drinking more often
OLDER people typically consume alcohol more frequently than younger drinkers but in much smaller quantities per session, an international study has found. Researchers examined drinking patterns across 10 countries, including Australia, comparing high-income and middle-income nations. They surveyed more than 14,000 people aged between 16 and 65, including 1472 in Australia. Researchers found high-frequency drinking increased with age, particularly in highincome countries including Australia, but from the mid-30s there was less likelihood of very large quantities being consumed at any one time. “Higher-risk drinkers were more likely to be in their 20s and 30s,” the researchers wrote in Drug and Alcohol Review, the journal of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs. Men, on average, drank much more frequently across the board and were more likely to drink at riskier levels than women. “The high-income ‘Anglo’ countries of England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand were characterised by about half of the young men aged 20-24 years reporting higher-risk drinking,” the researchers wrote. High-risk drinking was defined in the International Alcohol Control Study as consuming more than six drinks on an occasion at least once per week. In 2017, Queensland Health data shows that more than 14,000 people were treated in public hospital EDs for alcohol-related conditions.