People in their 50s and 60s could be risking serious damage with seemingly-benign alcohol habits, after doctors warned a quarter of middle-aged people could be suffering from "chronic alcoholism".
Doctors in the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said 27 per cent of people aged between 55 and 64 were consuming two glasses of wine a night - regarded as a "risky level" of alcohol consumption.
Australia's Daily Telegraph reported the AMA had warned two glasses a day should be regarded as an "upper limit", with at least two days a week designated as alcohol free.
Dr Brad Frankum, president of AMA NSW, said couples who share a bottle of wine at the end of a hard day were particularly at risk of pancreatitis, liver disease, obesity, and alcoholism-induced dementia.
"[People who share a bottle of wine] don't associate binge drinking with the cultured act of a glass of wine at night," he said.
The news came as campaigners in the UK called for alcohol to be sold with cigarette packet-style health warnings.
The Royal Society for Public Health called for wine, beer and spirits to be labelled with messages about the risks of drinking, warning of the link between alcohol and and some cancers.