5 facts about UK drinking that may surprise you

The Office for National Statistics has just released its latest data (2012) on drinking habits in the UK. Here are some illuminating stats:

1. Almost 6 in 10 adults responding to the survey said they'd drunk alcohol in the last week.

2. Drinking levels dropped in Britain during recession. Between 2005 and 2012 the proportion of men who drank alcohol in the week before being interviewed fell from 72 per cent to 64 per cent, and the proportion of women went down from 57 per cent to 52 per cent.

3. Smokers were more than twice as likely (25 per cent) as non-smokers (11 per cent) to have drunk very heavily at least once during the week.

4. Alcohol costs the NHS around £3.5bn a year, and eight per cent of all hospital admissions involve alcohol-related conditions.

5. Young people (those aged 16-24) were more likely to have drunk very heavily (more than 12 units for men and nine units for women) at least once during the week (27 per cent). But when it came to frequent drinking, the highest proportion was at the opposite end of the scale, in people aged 65 and over - 23 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women.