Successful over 50-year old people belonging to the middle-class are more prone to harmful drinking, according to AGE UK.
The study beats expectations. We would usually associate harmful drinking with less successful people rather than the wealthy middle-class. As successful middle-class citizens are usually the poster persons for a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy diet and hitting the gyms regularly, researchers warn it might just not be the case.
According to the UK researchers, wealthy older middle-class being predisposed to harmful drinking is a hidden social issue, as well as a health one.
“Our analysis challenges popular perceptions of who is drinking too much. It suggests publich health messaging is not reaching high income groups who are most at risk. Because this group is typically healthier than other parts of the population, they might not realise that what they are doing is putting their health in danger”.
stated AGE UK Professor Jose Iparraguirre, leader of the research and chief economist .
The findings were drawn from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing conducted on 9,000 UK citizens over 50. Income, health, education, levels of exercise, employment, marital status and mental health issues were all taken into account in delivering the results.
The guidelines set in place for drinking recommend that men drink 21 units of alcohol weekly, while women should not exceed 14 units of alcohol weekly. Harmful drinking is identified as 22 to 50 units weekly for men and 15 to 35 for women. As for high risk drinking, the limit was set at 50 units for men and 35 for women.
For both men and women in the high-income middle-class category, results were a surprise. Harmful drinking was shown to peak into high risk at the age of 60 for men. For women, a higher salary than the average or having retired were linked to harmful drinking as well.
High education and a good health condition were a common characteristic for both men and women who were drinking above the weekly recommended limits.
According to another report of the 2020Health, 8 million UK adults drink more than recommended. Another surprise: the extra alcohol intake comes from the glass of wine accompanying a meal.
In October 2014, data released by the UK government also showed a 65 percent rise in women above the retirement age who had started treatment for drink related problems. The data covered a timeframe of 5 years.
“We can sketch the problem of harmful drinking among people aged 50 or over in England as a middle class phenomenon: people in better health, higher income, with higher educational attainment and socially more active are more likely to drink at harmful levels,”
stated Professor Iparraguirre
The research features in the online journal BMJ Open.
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