Science Says Rich People Are Much More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

A new study sheds light on the drinking habits of high earners.

While some studies have indicated that a moderate level of drinking could be good for your health, recent research has shown that having as little as one drink per day can significantly shorten in your lifespan. And the more we learn about the effects of alcohol on mortality, the more countries like the UK have tried to crack down on the amount of booze its citizens consume.

On Tuesday, Scotland launched a minimum price for all alcoholic drinks of 50p (69 cents) per unit, in an attempt to drive up the cost of alcohol and therefore limit its abuse.

On the same day, NHS Digital and the Office for National Statistics released the results of a survey to find out which demographic is most likely to drink on a regular basis. While you may be tempted to assume that minimum-wage laborers were more likely to hit the pub on a daily basis than those in high-earning, highly-respected professions, the opposite was found to be true. The data found that wealthy professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, were actually more likely to be regular drinkers than those who made an average income.

The report also found that the rate of drinking rose with age, with those over 65 being the most likely to drink. Younger generations, on the other hand, were more likely to binge drink on weekends but abstain from alcohol during the work week.

The survey corroborates with previous research that has found that there was a positive correlation between socioeconomic status and drinking in America and Europe as well.

"As income and education go up, the percentage of people drinking goes up," Aaron White, PhD, senior scientific advisor to the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholismtold Healthline last June. "People that make more money are more likely to drink more, and more of them binge drink—or cross the four to five drink threshold—than people at lower incomes."

Given that some studies have recently found that Americans are drinking more than ever, more pressure should be put on lawmakers to follow Britain's lead and do something to lower the rates of alcohol abuse in the United States. Alcohol can cause a variety of health problems such as injuries, violence, liver diseases, depression, and cancer. According to the CDC, "excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years."

So if you need a little inspiration to cut back, check out the some of the amazing benefits of ditching the booze.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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