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By Age Group
On November 25, 2011 the first ever national low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines were released in Canada. The Canadian Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG) are intended for people of legal drinking age who choose to drink alcohol and are based on the most recent and best available scientific research and evidence. They are intended to provide consistent information across the country to help Canadians moderate their alcohol consumption and reduce their immediate and long-term alcohol-related harm. For more detailed information about the guidelines, visit the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse website.
Average long-term alcohol use (i.e., as low as one or two drinks per day) can lead to many types of cancers (mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum). It can also lead to other serious health conditions such as seizures, pancreatitis, low birth weight, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), stroke, irregular heartbeat, liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure, mental health issues and alcohol dependence.
The short-term risks during or after a specific drinking occasion include an increased risk of injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes or abusive or violent behavior, as well as other harms such as alcohol poisoning.
In order to reduce long-term health risks from drinking alcohol, the Canadian LRDG recommends drinking no more than:
• 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days
• 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days
In addition, plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit.
In Simcoe Muskoka, the proportion of adults ages 19+ exceeding the LRDG for long-term health effects was consistent over time and has been significantly higher than the provincial rate since 2003. In 2009/2010, 29% (24.9%, 32.4%) of Simcoe Muskoka current drinkers ages 19+ reported consuming more alcohol than recommended in the LRDG. The Ontario rate for this same time period was 22% (21.6%, 23.2%).
In 2009/2010, 35% (29.2%, 40.7%) of Simcoe Muskoka men exceeded the LRDG compared to 22% (18.1%, 27.2%) of women. Since 2000/2001, the difference between the sexes has remained statistically significant.
By Age Group
The percentage of Simcoe Muskoka respondents ages 19+ that report drinking alcohol in amounts that exceed the recommendations in the Canadian LRDG decreases with increasing age – from 33% (29.8%, 37.2%) among 19 to 44 year olds to 23% (19.4%, 26.5%) among those aged 65+ years. Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka adults ages 19 to 64 report drinking in excess of the LRDG compared to Ontario adults ages 19 to 64.
Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka respondents ages 19+ in the highest income category (33% (29.7%, 37.1%)) report exceeding the recommended daily amount of alcohol use compared to those in all other income categories. Current alcohol drinkers in the highest income category in Simcoe Muskoka exceed the Canadian LRDG at a significantly higher rate than Ontario respondents in the same income category.
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 02 May 2012.