Nav: Home

New study shows a generational shift toward lighter drinking in Australia

June 28, 2016

Alcohol consumption in Australia has declined steadily during the past decade, with per capita consumption in 2013-14 reaching its lowest level since the early 1960s. A new study published today by the scientific journal Addiction shows that the overall decline in drinking is due mainly to less drinking among people in their teens and early twenties.

A study led by Dr Michael Livingston of Australia's Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University analysed the drinking habits of 124,440 Australians aged 14 to 79 years, surveyed over 18 years. The results show that recent declines in per-capita consumption appear to be driven by two major changes: (1) the ageing of heavier drinking cohorts into lighter drinking stages of the life-course and (2) sharp reductions in drinking among recently born cohorts.

Alcohol consumption among Australians peaks in middle-age, between 40 and 60 years. As drinkers move into their 60s and 70s, they tend to ease up, a trend that helps to explain the recent decline in drinking.

But the main driver of reduced drinking in Australia is the markedly less drinking among Australians born in the 1990s, suggesting that a significant generational shift is underway.

This shift has the potential to create long-term public health gains, given the body of research showing that the drinking patterns established while people are young are strong predictors of drinking problems later in life.
-end-
For editors:

Livingston M, Raninen J, Slade T, Swift W, Lloyd B, and Deitze P (2016) Understanding trends in Australian alcohol consumption: An age-period-cohort model. Addiction 111: doi: 10.1111/add.13396

This paper is free to download for one month after publication from the Wiley Online Library or by contacting Jean O'Reilly, Editorial Manager, Addiction, jean@addictionjournal.org, tel +44 (0)20 7848 0853.

Media seeking interviews with Dr Michael Livingston should contact Catherine Garrett, Media and Communications Unit, La Trobe University: (03) 94796565 / 0418 964 325 / c.garrett@latrobe.edu.au

Addiction is a monthly international scientific journal publishing peer-reviewed research reports on alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco, and gambling as well as editorials and other debate pieces. Owned by the Society for the Study of Addiction, it has been in continuous publication since 1884. Addiction is the number one journal in the 2016 ISI Journal Citation Reports ranking in the substance abuse category for both science and social science editions.

Society for the Study of Addiction

Related Alcohol Consumption Articles:

Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.
Moderate alcohol consumption linked with high blood pressure
A study of more than 17,000 US adults shows that moderate alcohol consumption -- seven to 13 drinks per week -- substantially raises one's risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.
Is alcohol consumption more helpful than harmful? It depends on your age
Studies of health effects of alcohol consumption may underestimate the risks of imbibing, particularly for younger people, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer ignored by women most at risk
Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.
How much is too much? Even moderate alcohol consumption is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation
Excessive alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), but what are the effects of moderate and mild consumption on AF?
More Alcohol Consumption News and Alcohol Consumption Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...