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London, Dec 30:Middle-aged professional women are drinking more alcohol than their daughters, according to official figures.

The figures reveal that those over 45 drink more than any other age group, which is putting their health at risk.

At the same time, experts have warned that older women are becoming the biggest burden on the NHS because of alcohol-related conditions, including stroke, liver disease and cancer.

The news has prompted calls for GPs to give more advice on the dangers of chronic drinking or ask routine questions about how much alcohol their patients drink.

The UK-wide survey found that women aged 45 to 64 on an average drink about 8.8 units of alcohol a week - the equivalent of a bottle of wine.

However, professionals in demanding jobs were more likely to unwind with alcohol at the end of the working day, drinking 9.1 units a week on average.

Although the findings appear to show older women are staying within the Government's recommended limit of 14 units a week, experts pointed out that the figures included all those who are teetotal or drink relatively little - meaning many are consuming far more than indicated.

The survey also found that Government campaigns that warn younger women of the dangers of binge-drinking appear to be working.

Women aged 16 to 24 consumed just 8.4 units of alcohol a week - about 20 per cent less than they did several years ago, the Office for National Statistics' annual General Lifestyle Survey found. (ANI)

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