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Under 30? Avoid alcohol misuse on birthday

Studies suggest that it is unwise to party hard on your birthday, especially if you are younger than 30 years old. Figures show that most youngsters indulge in alcohol misuse on their birthday, and end up in the hospital.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 26, 2014 16:18 IST

It may be unwise to party hard on your birthday, especially if you're younger than 30 years old, according to a new study. New research found that birthday-related drinking is

associated with upsurges in hospital admissions among young people.

Researchers, led by University of Northern British Columbia Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr Russ Callaghan, analysed records from all hospital admissions in Ontario over a five-year period (2002-07) involving people aged 12 to 30 years.

They discovered that during the week in which Ontarians turned 19, they produced an increase in hospital admissions of 114% for men and 164% for women. In other words, young Ontarians had more than double the alcohol-related hospital admissions in the week of their 19th birthday as they did the rest of the year.

Callaghan said this type of research can help policy makers develop event-specific strategies to reduce hazardous drinking. "This study shows a clear need for efforts to prevent

alcohol misuse at one's own birthday celebrations -- not just when turning 19 but both before and after that milestone year," he said.

The study found similar but less extreme birthday-week spikes at other ages, starting as early as 16 years for boys and 14 years for girls. The largest spikes occurred on the weeks of people's 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 30th birthdays.

This study was published in the journal Addiction.

First Published: Jul 26, 2014 14:04 IST