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Men and women from all minority ethnic groups, except the Irish, were less likely to drink alcohol than the general population, and consumed smaller amounts. Among men in the general population, 30% usually drank more than 21 units of alcohol a week. While the proportion of Irish men drinking more than 21 units a week was similar (34%), estimates for men in all other groups were much lower: 18% Black Caribbean; 14% Indian; 3% Chinese; 2% Pakistani; and 1% Bangladeshi. Age-adjusted risk ratios were all below 1, except for the Irish (1.13).

The proportion of women in the general population who reported drinking more than 14 units a week was 16%. Only Irish women were more likely to drink this amount (19%). Among Black Caribbean and Chinese women, the proportions were 9% and 4% respectively, while very few South Asian women exceeded this amount.

Source: The Health Survey of England 1999