These jobs may be linked to higher risk of heavy drinking

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In a new study, researchers found that working in certain occupations may be associated with a higher likelihood of heavy drinking in people aged 40-69 years.

They found that jobs classified as skilled trade occupations, such as construction and manufacturing jobs, were most likely to be linked to heavy drinking while jobs broadly categorized as professional occupations, for example, doctors and teachers, were linked to a lower likelihood of heavy drinking.

The findings could be used to help target public health or work-based interventions aiming to reduce heavy drinking.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Liverpool.

In the study, the team analyzed data on 100,817 adults from across the UK who were 55 years old on average and recruited to the UK Biobank between 2006 and 2010.

Heavy drinkers were defined as women consuming more than 35 UK units of alcohol per week and men consuming more than 50 units per week.

In the UK, one unit of alcohol is defined as 10 milliliters (8 grams) of pure alcohol and typical servings of common alcoholic drinks, such as a 175-milliliter glass of wine or a pint of beer, contain one to three units of alcohol.

The team found that associations between occupation and heavy drinking differed in men and women.

For men, the jobs that were most likely to be linked to heavy drinking were skilled trade occupations, while jobs classified as managers and senior officials were most likely to be associated with heavy drinking for women.

The occupations linked to the lowest rates of heavy drinking for men were clergy, medical practitioners and town planners, compared with school secretaries, biological scientists, biochemists and physiotherapists for women.

The team says heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of physical and mental harm and by understanding which occupations are associated with heavy drinking, doctors can better target resources and interventions.

The research provides insight for policymakers and employers regarding which sectors may have the highest rates of heavy alcohol consumption.

One author of the study is Andrew Thompson.

The study is published in BMC Public Health.

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