Study Reveals How Drinking Habits Change Over Time

bartender at a bar

A new British study published in BMC Medicine reveals how drinking habits change over a lifetime, reports the Daily Mail. The main takeaway from the study is that for men, drinking peaks at age 25 and then starts to go down as he approaches 30, but by the time he reaches middle, age he’s probably still drinking daily. Women follow a similar general pattern, but with far lower consumption overall.

The study found that while both teenage boys and girls participate in binge drinking, as people grow older, their drinking habits diverge. In middle age, men and women commonly drink less overall than when they were in their 20s, but while most women were found to drink monthly or on special occasions, more than 50% of middle-aged men drink every day – up to five pints per day, on average.

The data for this study was gathered over a 34-year period, from 174,000 observations collected between 1979 and 2013, using participants of different generations. As the first study to quantify how drinking habits change as one ages, researchers hope its data will be used to develop more effective treatments for alcohol dependence.

Dr. Annie Britton, a senior lecturer on epidemiology and one of the authors of the study, explained that finding so may older men drinking so much later in life could easily cause complications with medications or cause other health problems: “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.” [Daily Mail][Photo: Flickr/John]