Men were considered heavy drinkers if they exceeded 500ml As the researchers report, alcohol consumption is particularly likely in the handicraft and hospitality industry, while the risk is lower for doctors and teachers. The lowest rates of heavy drinkers are found between two unrelated jobs: clergy and meteorologists.
Explaining the motivation, Andrew Thompson, a physician at the University of Liverpool, said: “Too much alcohol increases the risk of physical and mental harm, and if we understand which occupations are associated with heavy alcohol consumption, we can better align resources and interventions.” To study.
For this purpose, he and pharmacist and geneticist Munir Bir Muhammed analyzed data from 100,817 adults between 40 and 69 years of age from all over Great Britain who were recruited between 2006 and 2010 for the long-term study “UK Biobank”. Participants mentioned their weekly or monthly alcohol consumption and their occupation.
Men were considered alcohol addicted if they consumed more than 500 milliliters (400 grams) of pure alcohol per week. For women, this value was 350 milliliters (280 grams). To put it in perspective: A 330-milliliter bottle of beer contains just under 13 grams of pure alcohol, and a 125-milliliter cup of wine is about ten grams. The German Dietetic Association (DGE) specifies a maximum of 20 grams per day for all men and a maximum ten gram-negative for women.
As the British analysis showed, trades such as building and manufacturing were most likely associated with heavy alcohol consumption. Given individual occupations, excessive alcohol consumption rates were highest among bar owners, bar owners, plasterers and representatives of industrial cleaning professions. The lowest rates are found among clergymen, physicists, geologists, meteorologists, and medical professionals.
The study showed significant differences between the sexes: For men, the manual occupations were mainly associated with heavy alcohol consumption. For women, this was more related to jobs such as managers or senior executives. Conversely, the rate of high alcohol consumption was lowest among men in the professions of clergy, medicine, and urban planner, while it was lowest among women in the professions of school secretary, biologist, biochemist, and physiotherapist.
Commenting on the results, Thompson said: “The differences observed between men and women regarding the associations between occupations and heavy drinking could indicate how the work environment, along with gender and other complex factors, affects relationships with alcohol.” Workplace interventions aimed at addressing alcohol use in occupations where alcohol consumption is most prevalent can benefit individuals and the economy as a whole by indirectly improving employee well-being and increasing productivity.
How far the British results could be transferred to other countries remains unclear. Indeed, the German Central Office for Addiction Issues (DHS) has given cause for concern in light of previous comparable studies: “Study results on this topic could be influenced by country-specific occupational health and safety regulations, job profiles and consumer cultures in industries”.
In addition, the study focused only on alcohol consumption: the relationship between occupational groups and other addictive substances was not examined. The authors themselves also indicate that due to the cross-section nature of the study, a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and occupation cannot be established. Additionally, the data came from the years 2006 to 2010 – no change in drinking behavior has been recorded since then.
However, this particular change could be interesting, especially given the Corona pandemic. Because for Germany, a non-representative survey by the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI) in Mannheim showed that alcohol consumption has risen in about a third of adults in this country since its inception. A warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that this is a cross-border trend: it recently recommended restricting alcohol consumption as much as possible during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic – also because excessive consumption weakens the immune system.
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