Drinking patterns are largely stable across the lifespan

21 Feb 2019

About this data

This data is taken from HPA's research report New Zealanders’ alcohol consumption patterns across the lifespan.

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Research has shown New Zealanders' drinking patterns are largely stable across peoples’ lifespan, with long periods of hazardous or non-hazardous drinking. Going from non-hazardous to hazardous drinking or vice versa was usually triggered by a single event such as unemployment, relationship breakdown or developing a chronic health condition.

Change from hazardous to non-hazardous drinking (or vice versa) was uncommon, and when it did occur, further transitions were unlikely. Unemployment between ages 20 and 40 and loss of a relationship between ages 30 and 50 increased the risk of changing from a non-hazardous to a hazardous drinker. Conversely, developing a chronic health condition before 50 years of age increased the likelihood of transitioning from hazardous to non-hazardous consumption.