Greying Finns drink more alcohol than before: study

June 12, 2009

Ageing Finns have increased their alcohol consumption significantly since 2000, a worrying trend in a country where alcohol is the leading cause of death, researchers said on Friday.

The national institute for health and welfare (THL) interviewed Finns about their drinking habits in 2000 and 2008.

Researchers found that Finns who were 50 or older in 2008 drank greater quantities of alcohol and more often than people in the same age group eight years earlier.

On average, men between age 50 and 69 consumed 6.3 litres (1.6 gallons) of pure alcohol last year, while among women of the same age consumption was 1.7 litres.

Alcohol intake had increased by 44 percent for men and 35 percent for women compared to 2000.

According to official statistics, Finns consumed an average 10.4 litres of pure alcohol per person in Finland in 2008.

"In the 2000s people have not cut down on their alcohol consumption when they get older the same way as before. The price of alcohol has decreased during this decade and older people's level of income is higher than before," senior THL researcher Pia Maekelae told AFP.

Maekelae added that those in their 50s now belong to a generation that has always drunk more alcohol than previous generations.

Greater is likely to cause more health problems.

"Older people should drink less alcohol than younger people. They have more illnesses and medication and that together with alcohol can have consequences," she said.

Researchers interviewed some 2,700 Finns aged 15 to 69 last autumn.

Alcohol has been Finland's leading cause of death since 2005, a year after the Nordic country slashed its alcohol tax by 30 percent in an attempt to stem a flood of imports from EU neighbours where prices were lower.

In January the tax on alcohol was increased by 10 percent and parliament is expected next week to approve a law proposal that would raise the tax by another 10 percent in early October.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality

November 17, 2017
A team of Swedish scientists have used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. Their study shows that dog owners had a lower ...

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, study finds

November 16, 2017
When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University ...

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.