Drinkers who regularly exceed the government alcohol limits without getting drunk are unknowingly increasing the risks of cancer, liver disease and mental health issues, says a report published today.
More than a quarter of men (26 per cent) enjoy one too many and 18 per cent of women, the study found. Risky drinking is higher among professionals and those with the largest household incomes.
Married people are less likely to show mild alcohol dependence than those who are single, separated or cohabiting (5% against 12-13%).
The research was completed by think-tank 2020health. It urged an increased focus on addressing the problem, saying it could save the NHS £124m, with effective interventions costing only £15 per patient.