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One in four medical students is teetotal

One in four medical students claims to be teetotal, and only one in 10 drinks more than the recommended maximum in an average week, research has found.

One in four medical students claims to be teetotal, and only one in 10 drinks more than the recommended maximum in an average week, research has found

student
More students are choosing to become teetotal. Picture: Alamy

One in four medical students claims to be teetotal, research has found.

Only one in 10 respondents reported drinking more than the recommended maximum intake of 14 units of alcohol per week, a Student BMJ survey found.

The journal sent an online survey to its medical student subscribers asking about a range of health and lifestyle habits.

Of the 812 UK-based respondents, 192 (24%) reported drinking zero units of alcohol each week.

Millennial trend

The majority of respondents who drank any alcohol consumed less than 10 units per week (57.9%). In addition to the 10% who drank more than 14 units, 3.8% (31 respondents) reported drinking 13-14 units on average each week.

Commenting on the findings, Dominique Thompson, director of the Students' Health Service at the University of Bristol, said: ‘The news that medical students are caring better for themselves is very welcome. Their rates of alcohol use reflect those of the general student population, with more students choosing to become teetotal.’

The research notes that self-reported surveys are subject to bias because they rely on people accurately remembering and reporting consumption, but the results mirror trends among the wider millennial population.

It also found that 79.1% (642 respondents) had not experienced illegal drugs while at medical school.


Munn F (2017) One in 10 medical students exceeds weekly alcohol consumption guidance, a Student BMJ survey finds: Student BMJ doi: 10.1136/sbmj.j3707

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