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One in five 'very drunk' recently

NEARLY one-fifth of English men have admitted to being 'very drunk, at least once' in the previous three months, according to a government survey, writes Celia Hall.

The study of 4,000 men and women over 16, which takes the pulse of the nation's health every year, found that 10 per cent of English women said they, too, had been 'very drunk' in the same time period.

Among those who drank, 20 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women thought they should drink less.

Four per cent of men and 1 per cent of women said they had shaking hands in the morning; 3 per cent of men and 1 per cent of women said they felt unable to stop drinking and 2 per cent of men - but no women - said that they drank first thing in the morning.

Among heavy male drinkers - those drinking more than 35 units of alcohol a week (more than 17 pints of beer) - the same figures were 13 per cent, 12 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.

Health Survey for England 1992 (Series HS no 2), is available from HMSO; pounds 27.50.