Older, richer Aus­tralians are drink­ing more of­ten

The Western Star - - LIFE HEALTHY LIVING -

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. Over­all, the re­searchers found high-fre­quency drink­ing in­creased with age, par­tic­u­larly in high-in­come coun­tries in­clud­ing Australia, but from the mid-30s on­wards 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.

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