Men spend an average of €2,395 on alcohol each year while women spend €1,607 on average, according to the research from an Aviva Online Health Check completed by 20,043 people between December 2008 and April 2011. It involved respondents answering a series of questions on their health and lifestyle habits.
The research revealed that men consume an average of 15 alcohol units per week and women consume an average of nine.
Regionally, counties Dublin and Louth drink the most alcohol, consuming an average of 12 units per week, while counties Carlow, Donegal, Kerry, Laois, Roscommon and Tipperary report the lowest level of drinking, at nine units per week.
People living in Dublin and Louth consume approximately six pints of beer or cider or 12 glasses of wine per week, twice the recommended level of one glass of red wine per day that’s been found to have modest health benefits.
“People living in Ireland who are in work have a tendency towards a ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle,” commented Dr Stephen Murphy of the Aviva Medical Council, “Often drinking is used as a way to unwind after a busy week or to forget about the troubles of the day. Our research shows people are spending nearly €2,000 on alcohol annually and it also suggests that alcohol is being consumed excessively among adults.
“This is worrying behaviour, particularly as people tend to under-report their alcohol consumption and may be unaware that drinking has been linked to breast, liver and oral cancers.” ??In addition, Ireland has previously been ranked as having the highest rate of binge-drinking in the EU with 36 per cent of respondents to a 2007 report on attitudes towards drinking claiming that they consume an average of three to four drinks on one occasion which equates to approximately six to eight units of alcohol.