Middle aged 'three times more likely to drink every day than younger people'

 

Adults aged over 45 are three times more likely to drink alcohol every day than younger people, the latest official statistics have found.

More than one in eight (13 per cent) of adults over 45 drink practically every day of the year compared with just four per cent of those under 45, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As people get older they tend to drink more often - with over a fifth (22 per cent) of men aged 65 and over drinking almost every day compared with just three per cent of men aged 16 to 24.

Among women, 12 per cent of over-65s drink alcohol almost every day compared with just one per cent of young women aged 16 to 24.

However, younger adults were much more likely to binge drink than older people. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of men aged 16 to 24 admitted drinking more than eight units of alcohol in a single day, as did 25 per cent of those aged 25 to 44. This compared with 20 per cent of men aged 45 to 64 and just seven per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Among women, 17 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 admitted drinking more than six units of alcohol in a single day, as did 19 per cent of those aged 25 to 44. But only 11 per cent of women aged 45 to 64 and just two per cent of those aged 65 and over confessed to a drinking binge.

 Overall, more than half (54 per cent) of adults admitted drinking alcohol at least once a week, with 26 per cent drinking at least twice a week.

More than 13,000 people across Britain completed the Office for National Statistics survey.

Experts recommend three alcohol-free days a week. The Government recommends that men should not regularly exceed three or four units of alcohol a day and women should not go over two to three units.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) last year warned of the growing problem of older people’s drinking. Its report, Our Invisible Addicts, published last June, concluded that a third of older people with alcohol use problems developed them in later life - often as a result of life changes such as retirement or bereavement, or feelings of boredom, loneliness and depression.

Professor Tony Rao, a consultant in old age psychiatry and one of the authors of the RCP report, said: “This is such a hidden problem – older people drink behind closed doors. In my clinical practice I see many older people suffering the negative effects of their drinking – both physically and mentally. We see older people who have been drinking suffering falls and being admitted to hospital, only to be given the all clear and be sent home to begin the cycle again. We see others who suffer mental health problems such as depression or alcohol related dementia. There are a variety of problems but they are usually below the radar because they do not involve death or liver disease.”

Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “These new statistics expose the hidden truth about alcohol and Middle England. Many over-45s drink daily, and those from professional or managerial households drink more, especially women.

”Whilst drinking is decreasing amongst younger age groups, the middle-aged middle classes are taking unnoticed risks with their health, increasing their likelihood of suffering illnesses such as liver disease, stroke and cancer.“

Chris Sorek, chief executive of alcohol education charity Drinkaware, said: “Although it can be easy to find excuses to drink after a long day, many people are unaware that they are putting themselves at risk by drinking more than they think.  Regularly going over the unit guidelines has serious implications for your health, from disturbed sleep and weight gain to cancer, heart and liver disease – which has no warning signs.”

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

    Technical Project Manager - Software and Infrastructure - Government Experience

    £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...

    Secondary teachers needed for supply roles in Sudbury

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

    Head of Technology

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Technology needed for a Outsta...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits