Despite the potential health risks of over-drinking, many middle-aged women choose to drink at levels that exceed low-risk drinking guidelines. They consume alcohol at high-risk levels tend to perceive their drinking as normal and acceptable, as long as they appear in control, says a new study. Many of them also tend to drink more than their younger counterparts. The findings were published in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness, researchers at New Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia and Aalborg University in Denmark.
For the study, researchers investigated alcohol use among 49 women aged 50 to 69 in Australia and Denmark.
"The research highlighted that respondents from both countries indicated that alcohol use among women their age was normal and acceptable," said study lead author Julie Dare from ECU.
Overconsumption of alcohol has been linked to a bevy of risks. According to Australian health authorities, drinking more than two standard drinks on any day increases the risk considerably of premature death over a woman's lifetime.
It was found that the participants laid more emphasis on appearing to be in control, and their social behaviour than the quantity of alcohol they have consumed or potential health risks involved.
Some of the women reported reducing their drinking due to health concerns, others said that their physical activity and fitness initiatives tend to 'neutralise' alcohol-related health risks
Researchers said that health advice and interventions are needed to make people understand the biomedical impacts of alcohol and prioritise that over any other factor that pulls them towards alcohol.
Since the study was performed on a very small scale, more number of studies are required to reach to conclusive results.
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