This paper provides a comparison of the drinking patterns of members of the 1958 British Birth Cohort at age 33 in 1991 and members of the 1970 British Birth Cohort at age 34 in 2004. In particular the focus is on the relationships between social class, gender and drinking behaviour and how these may have changed over time. In addition we exploit the detailed information available in the cohort studies about the kinds of alcohol that individuals drink to provide a description of how this varies between the two cohorts born twelve years apart. The paper also provides detailed descriptive analyses of the links between frequency of drinking and the number of units drunk for both cohorts. Results suggest that although the 1970 cohort report drinking more frequently than the 1958 cohort did at a similar age, there is only a modest increase in the average number of units of alcohol consumed per week for women and no increase for men. The paper also highlights some possible problems with data on alcohol consumption collected in the 2000 sweep of NCDS and BCS70 and concludes by making some comparisons between data collected in the cohort studies and data collected in the General Household Survey
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