Publications & Reports

The who and what of women's drinking: Examining risky drinking and associated socio-demographic factors among women aged 40-65 years in Australia.

Miller M, Mojica-Perez Y, Livingston M, Kuntsche E, Wright CJC, Kuntsche S
The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia.


INTRODUCTION: Recent trends in Australian national survey data show an increase in alcohol use among middle-aged people, amidst declines in alcohol use among other population groups. There is limited research, however, on middle-aged women’s alcohol use. This study aimed to examine patterns in alcohol use among Australian women aged 40-65 and the associated sociodemographic and contextual factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional data from six waves of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2001-2019). We estimated the prevalence of long-term risky drinking (>2 Australian standard drinks per day) and risky-single occasion drinking (>5 Australian standard drinks on one occasion) among middle-aged women. Logistic regression models were estimated using 2019 data to examine demographic characteristics and contextual factors associated with alcohol use. RESULTS: Since 2001, there has been a statistically significant increase in long-term risky drinking and risky-single occasion drinking amongst middle-aged women in Australia. Educational attainment, marital status and employment status were negatively associated with risky drinking, whereas rurality, age and location of use were positively associated with risky drinking. Beverage type was both positively and negatively associated with risky drinking. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Given the significant increase in alcohol use amongst middle-aged women in Australia, prevention efforts are needed for this group, which may focus in particular on home drinking and the impact of rurality on alcohol use.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Drug and Alcohol Review
  • Published: 26/01/2022
  • Volume: 41
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: 724-731