Working in certain occupations may be associated with a higher likelihood of heavy drinking in people aged 40-69 years, according to research from the UK.
It found that the highest rates of drinking were in contractors and managers of licenced premises, plasterers and industrial cleaners.
The lowest rates of drinking were found in the clergy, physicists, geologists and meteorologists, as well as medical practitioners.
Generally, it seems that ‘skilled trade’ occupations have the highest rates of drinking, while ‘professional’ occupations had the lowest.
“Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of physical and mental harm and by understanding which occupations are associated with heavy drinking, we can better target resources and interventions,” said researcher Dr Andrew Thompson from the University of Liverpool.
“Our research provides insight for policy makers and employers regarding which sectors may have the highest rates of heavy alcohol consumption.”
The authors found that associations between occupation and heavy drinking differed in men and women. For men, the jobs that were most likely to be associated with heavy drinking were skilled trade occupations, while jobs classified as managers and senior officials were most likely to be associated with heavy drinking for women.
“The observed differences for men and women in associations between occupations and heavy drinking could indicate how work environments, along with gender and other complex factors, can influence relationships with alcohol,” Dr Thompson said.
“Workplace-based interventions aiming to address alcohol consumption in occupations where heavy drinking is prevalent could benefit both individuals and the wider economy by improving employee wellbeing and by indirectly increasing productivity.”
Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study, it was not possible to establish a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and occupation.
The full study is available here.