MPs call for alcohol limits review
Published on 10 January 2012 11:00 AM
MPs and health experts have urged the Government to consider setting a lower recommended alcohol limit for older people.
A new report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee suggests that anybody who drinks should give themselves two alcohol-free days a week to help boost their health.
But the committee also said there 'could be merit' in setting lower drinking limits for older people, just as there are different guidelines for pregnant women.
Figures suggest that the number of people over the age of 65 being treated for drinking problems has soared over the last decade, with older people more likely to drink every day than those in other age groups.
In London alone, there has been a 163% increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions among the over-65s.
The figures compiled for the BBC by the NHS Information Centre show that outside the capital, only the North East has a higher rate of such admissions.
Meanwhile, the data suggests that alcohol consumption has fallen slightly among people in other age groups.
Royal College of GPs chair Dr Claire Gerado said too much focus is placed on young people when considering alcohol policy.
She added: 'We do that because the young ones are more visible - they vomit in streets. You don't tend to see a retired 70-year-old bank manager vomiting in the street.
'But it's just as much of a problem for people drinking at the other end of life as it is for the young ones.'
Copyright Press Association 2012