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Middle-aged women's drinking problems on the rise

The ladette generation is swapping pints for wine - leading to a rise in women with drinking problems, it has been claimed.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 04, 2013 17:41 IST

The ladette generation is swapping pints for wine - leading to a rise in women with drinking problems, it has been claimed.

The ladette culture of the 1980s and 90s is a key factor in the growing number of middle-aged women turning to drink, according to the founder of a support website.

Lucy Rocca said that women between 30 and 50 are turning to alcohol as a natural choice, having grown up in an era when drinking to excess was encouraged.

Rocca set up the Soberistas website after developing - and overcoming - a dependency on alcohol.

Within two months, more than 1,500 women had joined the forum to discuss problem drinking.

The overwhelming majority are middle-aged and many are professional, career women.

"I think the reason that women of that age are finding themselves in that position where they are drinking too much is that a lot of them grew up in a ladette culture and went on to get married and have children," Rocca told Sky News.

She said that they had grown up in a culture where it was acceptable and encouraged, really, to drink excessively.

Once they found themselves dealing with motherhood and stresses of work, they swapped the pints for the wine and they drank at home to try to deal with that stress, she added.

Figures for hospital admissions reflect a recent increase in problem-drinking among women between 30 and 50.

According to the Department of Health, in England in 2010 there were 110,128 alcohol-related hospital admissions for women in their mid-30s to mid-50s. This was nearly double the number of admissions of women aged 15-34.

In Scotland, the number of alcohol-related deaths among women aged 30-44 has doubled in the past 20 years.