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Men and women have very different drinking habits, study says

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Men and women really do drink differently. (iStock)

We knew men and women can be on different planets, but those difference appear even down to the way they drink.

According to new research published in the U.K.’s BMC Medicine, men drink, in general, drink a lot more than women. Alcohol consumption of men peaks at 25 with an average of 13 drinks per week. For women, alcohol consumption remains steady for much of adulthood but peaks later in life—between ages 40 and 45—at about four drinks consumed per week.

Previous studies show that binge drinking and substance abuse problems occur most often in individuals in their early 20’s, reports the Washington Post.  But the team behind this recent  study found some surprising results about specific drinking habits as we age.

"Frequent drinking (daily or most days of the week) became more common during mid to older age, most notably among men," the researchers explain. Men tend to drink more often as they age but tend to binge drink less, lowering their overall consumption.

Of those surveyed, “non-drinkers were uncommon, particularly among men.” Fewer than 10 percent of subjects abstained from drinking alcohol altogether, only rising in old age where over 20 percent of subjects over 90 no longer consumer alcohol.

Since the study was conducted in the U.K. where drinking age is 18, cultural attitudes about imbibing may differ.  The World Health Organization says that Americans drink less than the English overall.

Though the research may not be applicable to all countries, the researchers say they hope the data will illuminate that drinking habits by age can differ age. Understanding how people use alcohol overtime may help specialists develop better plans for intervention in the case of abuse.