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The ‘silent’ wine drinkers unaware of future trouble

First published in News

AS more women are diagnosed with alcohol-related health problems, a Bolton GP has looked back at changes to drinking patterns over the last 50 years.

Dr Stephen Liversedge, a GP at the surgery in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, said alcoholrelated illnesses used to be rare, but are now almost the norm.

He blamed the increase on a change in drinking habits over the past 50 years and said consuming alcohol at home and drinking wine had contributed to a rise in related health problems.

Dr Liversedge, aged 63, compared the start of his career with that of Heaton GP, Dr Tara Breslin, aged 29, and said when he started practising in the 1970s, he only saw a handful of alcohol-related cases.

But Dr Breslin said health issues relating to alcohol had always been part of her everyday workload.

The pair want to encourage people to limit the amount they are drinking at home and say large numbers of affluent people are consuming several glasses of wine at home after work and may be unaware that they are drinking double or triple the recommended daily intake.

They want people to have alcohol-free days and cut the number of units they are drinking each week.

Dr Liversedge said: “Back in the 1950s, drinking at home was a rare event. Men went to pubs, but there were stringent licensing laws with pubs and offlicences and you couldn’t buy alcohol from supermarkets.

“A big change was people, especially women, drinking at home.”

Dr Breslin added: “We find people are going home and having a glass of wine and are doing that regularly and don’t see it is being harmful to their health. They are never intoxicated and they are drinking with food.

“People associate too much alcohol with binge drinking but it is the silent group who are at home and who just don’t see it because they are at home.”

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