Binge drinking is more common in the United States than previously thought, particularly among young adults, though the most frequent offenders are over 65, said a government study on Tuesday.
One in six Americans, or 17.1 percent of the population, binge drinks, defined as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in a setting for men and four or more among women, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest data for 2010 is an increase over the CDC’s report on the same topic for 2009, which said about 15 percent of US adults, or 33 million Americans, binge drink, a rate that had stayed the same for more than 15 years.
While the most common age group for binge drinking was 18-34, those who reported doing it most often were over 65, said the CDC’s Vital Signs report, which also warned of the health and safety risks of high alcohol use.
Seniors who binge-drink reported doing so 5.5 times per month, compared to an average of four times a month among the rest of the binge-drinking population.