Drinking study shows many young men at risk

While most people in Ontario consume alcohol responsibly, a new University of Toronto study shows that almost a third of young men in the province risk their health by drinking excessively.

The survey of 2,776 Ontarians shows that 30 per cent of men under age 45 - and 25 per cent overall - place their immediate and long-term health at risk by regularly exceeding daily and weekly drinking guidelines. Only 10 per cent of women are likely to drink in a risky pattern.

The guidelines, established in 1997 by the Addiction Research Foundation and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, suggest upper limits of 14 standard drinks per week for men and nine drinks per week for women. The recommended daily limit is two drinks for both men and women.

"We're not saying that 25 per cent of men are alcoholics -- but they are putting themselves at risk of developing liver disease or cancer in the long run and of being involved in an accident in the short run," says lead author Susan Bondy, assistant professor of public health sciences at U of T and scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

This study was funded by the Ministry of Health and appeared in the August issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.


Contact: Steven de Sousa
University of Toronto

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