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How #alcohol intake can change over a lifetime – new study

A new study shows that our consumption of alcohol changes with age – not always for the better.

The researchers found that average alcohol consumption rose considerably in adolescence and peaked at around 20 units per week at age 25. After this, it decreased, until it started to level off in mid-life, and then finally decreased again from age 60, to around five to 10 units per week.

A similar pattern was seen for women, but they had lower levels of consumption, with a peak of around seven to eight units a week and consumption of two to four units in those aged 70 and over.

Drinking daily or on most days of the week became more common in mid-life to older age, particularly in men, with half of men drinking this frequently at this time of life in one cohort. Drinking this frequently reduced in very old age.

Read more about the study and its implications here

older man drinking

Should you be worried about your drinking?

Try the CAGE test:

  • C – Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  • A – Have people Annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
  • G – Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  • E – Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, you should seek advice from your GP.

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About Paul Hooper, WCC (586 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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