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Women drink more alcohol as they age

Women aged 50-70 are more likely to consume alcohol than younger women, at levels that exceed low risk drinking guidelines, according to a new study.

The researchers found that despite the potential health risks of exceeding national drinking guidelines, many middle-aged and young-old women who consume alcohol at high risk levels tend to perceive their drinking as normal and acceptable, so long as they appear respectable and in control.

For the findings investigated the social construction of 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.

Drinking more than two standard drinks increases the risk of premature death. The researchers found that women place more importance on appearing to be in control, behaving respectably, social pleasure and feeling liberated than the quantity of alcohol consumed or potential health risks. 

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