Binge drinking in men peaks at 25 before every day boozing starts later in life, says study

Similar patterns were found in women, but with less dramatic results

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The amount of alcohol a man drinks is the highest at around the age of 25, according to a new study.

Alcohol consumption sharply rises during the carefree teenage years and reaches the highest levels of frequency and volume in the mid-twenties, when it becomes the linchpin of most social and corporate events.

Men’s drinking spikes to around 23 units per week – the equivalent of nine pints of beer at 4% strength – while a similar but less dramatic pattern is seen in women but with a lower overall weekly consumption of around eight units.

 

After the hedonistic age of 25, the drinking declines before plateauing in the 30s and 40s for more than half of men. Very frequent drinking is more likely among males in their mid to old age before tailing off to around five to ten units weekly.

Around 60,000 people from adolescents to those over 90 were studied to determine how much and how often they drink on a weekly basis.

Women were found to have steadier drinking rates throughout their lives compared to men with a slow but significant decline in consuming alcohol from around the age of 65.

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Drinking peaks for men at 25 with more than 20 units per week

Lead researcher Dr Annie Britton at University College London, who carried out the study, said: “I wasn’t shocked to see that alcohol volume changes over the life course, but the high proportion of older men drinking daily is a bit alarming.

“It raises concerns that they are becoming dependent on alcohol and there are risks in this age group mixing alcohol with medications.”

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Women's drinking has been found to reduce steadily over a lifetime

Men are twice as likely as women to become addicted to booze or exhibit abusive behaviour while drunk, according to DrinkAware.

Alcohol can also play havoc with the health of vital organs such as the kidneys and liver, contribute to obesity and lower fitness levels.

The maximum recommended daily allowance of alcohol for men and women is four units and three units respectively, according to the NHS.

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