Swedes drinking more often

Researcher sees danger in changing alcohol habits

Swedes have been drinking alcohol more often these days, and rather than limiting consumption to just the weekend, it has become more common to drink every day, reports news agency TT.

Researchers say this is dangerous, especially for women. Not only do women tend to be smaller than men in size, which means they can withstand less alcohol, but enzymes in the liver also process alcohol differently.

According to a study presented at a gastroenterology congress in Stockholm, alcohol consumption has risen 10 percent since 1997. During the same period, deaths due to alcohol-related liver diseases have increased significantly.

Alcohol consumption here reached its peak in 2004, and has since then declined a little, but Professor of Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital, Rolf Hultcrantz, warns that even so, drinking behavior has changed for the worse, since people are drinking more often.

"Today, people talk just about how nice it is to drink alchool," says Hultcrantz, "but they rarely talk about the risks. And we can't forget that it's a problem for 10 percent of the population."