Educated women are the heaviest drinkers, a study shows

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If you are rather partial to a glass of wine more than once in a while then you can console yourself with the thought that this is probably down to the fact that you are a clever person.

That’s the conclusion of major new study which has found that university-educated women drink more than those who left the education system earlier.

Researchers at the London School of Economics found women with degrees were twice as likely to drink every day and were also more likely to admit to having a drinking problem, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

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Researchers studied the lives of thousands of 39-year-old women who had been born in the UK in the same week in 1970 and quizzed them regularly about their academic achievements as well as their drinking habits.

“The more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns,” researchers Dr Francesca Borgonovi and Dr Maria Huerta wrote in Social Science and Medicine.

“The better-educated appear to be the ones who engage the most in problematic patterns of alcohol consumption.”

The researchers also found a correlation between academic scores from tests taken when the subjects were five-year-olds and their alcoholic consumption later in life.

“Both males and females who achieved high-level performance in test scores administered at ages five and 10 are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol than individuals who performed poorly on those tests,” the researchers wrote.

“Reasons for the positive association of education and drinking behaviours may include: a more intensive social life that encourages alcohol intake; a greater engagement into traditionally male spheres of life, a greater social acceptability of alcohol use and abuse; more exposure to alcohol use during formative years; and greater postponement of childbearing and its responsibilities among the better educated.”

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The findings also suggest that higher-educated men have a similar preference for regular drinking, but that the link was less pronounced than for women.

According to 2005 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in eight Australians drink to a risky to high risk level.

Your say: Do you think that educated women drink more? Share your thoughts below.

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