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By Age Group
Heavy drinking is commonly defined as consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion at least once per month in the past 12 months. Current drinkers who engage in episodes of heavy drinking are at higher risk of developing alcohol-related problems. These people may not drink frequently and may have a relatively low daily average consumption; however, they tend to drink excessively on some occasions.
In 2009/2010, 20% (16.8%, 23.8%) of current drinkers ages 19 years and over reported engaging in heavy drinking. From 2000/2001 to 2007/2008, the prevalence of heavy drinking among Simcoe Muskoka adults ages 19+ was significantly higher than the Ontario rate.
Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka males (32%, (28.7%, 35.6%)) report heavy drinking, compared to 11% (8.6%, 12.8%) of females. In addition, the prevalence of heavy drinking among Simcoe Muskoka males is significantly higher than Ontario males (25% (24.6%, 26.1%)).
By Age Group
The prevalence of heavy drinking also varies by age group. Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka individuals in the 19 to 44 year age group (30% (26.5%, 34.0%) drink heavily compared to their older counterparts. In fact, heavy drinking among 19 to 44 year olds is approximately 5 to 6 times higher than the prevalence among 65+ year olds (5% (3.6%, 7.2%). Heavy drinking episodes are also significantly higher than the provincial rate among 19 to 44 and 45 to 64 year olds.
There is an interesting relationship between heavy drinking and the amount of money an individual earns. Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka respondents in the highest income category (25% (21.1%, 28.0%)) are self-reported heavy drinkers compared to those in the lower income categories (11%* (4.9%, 17.8%) lowest category and 15%* (9.5%, 19.7%) lower-middle category). (*Interpret with caution. High variability)
Heavy drinking by education levels does not follow the same pattern as seen with income levels. Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka adults ages 19+ with college diploma/certificate (23% (19.6%, 26.5%) report heavy drinking compared to those with a university degree or higher (15% (10.3%, 18.9%).
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 12 April 2012.