Professionals reach for the bottle to relieve stress

By Kay Lockett on February 28, 2011 10:54 AM |

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Liquid lunches, after work drinks and networking events - a glass of wine or two is often a regular occurrence as part of the working week.

But many professionals are putting worrying strain on the health of their liver, according to LiverCheck.

TV doctor Hilary Jones has teamed up with the firm, which manufactures a home testing device, to raise awareness about problems associated with drinking in the workplace.

Dr Jones said: "In many professional occupations there is an added social aspect to the job.

"The level of alcohol consumed among certain professions is significantly higher than the national average.

"Even a few glasses of wine over lunch can add up - doing significant damage to your health - in particular that of your liver."

A recent poll of 130 professionals found that men and women were drinking 30 per cent more than the recommended units a week, which is set at 21 for men and 14 for women.

Further analysis also revealed that just under half of the alcohol units consumed were drank on work occasions.

A Department of Health survey found people who work in the media were the heaviest drinking professionals in England, consuming the equivalent of more than four bottles of wine or more than 19 pints of beer a week. People in this profession drink an average of 44 units a week, around double the recommended limit. Media workers are the biggest consumers of wine, drinking on average one and a half bottles a week.

Media professionals also drink about 10 units more per week on average than the next heaviest drinking professionals - IT workers, who are closely followed by service-sector workers, and people working in finance, insurance and real estate.

Dr Jones warned that another reason for the high levels of alcohol consumption among career professionals could be stress.

A survey last year by Mediacash, found that more than half the nation's workforce feels so tense at the end of their working day that they often reach for alcohol to help them relax and more than one in 10 have left a job in the past due to high stress levels.

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The research revealed that people working in education, transport and travel were the country's most moderate drinkers, consuming an average of 24 units a week, although this is still above the recommended limit for women and around the maximum for men.

Dr Jones said: "Office culture can adversely affect alcohol intake, particularly in industries where entertaining clients or colleagues involves drinking.

"Work colleagues can have a big influence on how much we drink, even when we want to cut back.

"After-work drinks are often part of the fabric of our working lives, and it's often tempting to go along with the crowd, even when you know your body needs a rest."

"LiverCheck is one way that professionals can conveniently and confidentially check their liver health so that they are aware of any damage, before it's too late."

Currently, liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and the biggest single increasing health threat in major developed countries.

Each year 7,500 Brits die from liver disease and yet the problem is almost entirely preventable.

LiverCheck costs £99. Go to YorkTest.com or call 0800 074 6185 for more information about the product.

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