Fewer Australians are drinking alcohol at levels that are likely to risk their health, according to new results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
ABS Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the 2017-18 National Health Survey showed males leading the reduction in the proportion of people whose alcohol consumption exceeded both lifetime and single occasion risk guidelines.
Declining ‘lifetime’ risk
“The 2017-18 National Health Survey showed that one in six adults (16 per cent) consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the 2009 National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime risk guideline. This is a decline from the one in five adults (19.5 per cent) in 2011-12,” Ms Gates said.
"The proportion of men likely to exceed the lifetime risk guideline fell from 26 per cent in 2014-15 to 24 per cent in 2017-18."
"Women were less likely than men to exceed the lifetime risk guideline, with the rate remaining unchanged at 9 per cent.”
The National Health Survey also showed that Australian born adults were more likely to exceed the lifetime risk guideline than those born overseas (19 per cent compared with 10 per cent).
Contrary to other health risk factors such as smoking or being overweight or obese, adults living in areas of least disadvantage were more likely to exceed the lifetime risk guideline than those living in areas of most disadvantage (18 per cent compared with 14 per cent).
Declining ‘single occasion’ risk
Two in five (42 per cent) adults consumed more than four standard drinks on any one occasion, exceeding the single occasion risk guideline, a drop from 44 per cent in 2014-15.
“Once again, the slight decrease in the ‘single occasion’ risk is mainly due to males, who dropped from 57 per cent in 2014-15 to 54 per cent in 2017-18,” Ms Gates said.
Again similar to the lifetime risk guideline, Australian born adults were nearly twice as likely to exceed the single occasion risk guideline as those born overseas (50 per cent) compared with 27 per cent.
Also reversing the trend of other health risk factors, those living in areas of least disadvantage were also more likely to exceed the single occasion risk guideline (47 per cent compared with 35 per cent).
Further details are in National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.
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- The survey was conducted in all States and Territories and across urban, rural and remote areas of Australia (excluding very remote areas) from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey included around 21,000 people in over 16,000 private dwellings.