Living near bars may increase the risk of heavy drinking, a new study suggests. Researchers followed almost 55,000 adults in Finland for seven years. They found those who moved closer to bars were more likely to consume a greater amount of alcohol, according to Reuters.
A person who moved one kilometer (0.6 mile) closer to a bar increased the odds of becoming a heavy drinker by 17 percent. The study defined heavy drinking as more than 10 ounces a week of distilled alcohol for men, and seven ounces for women.
The researchers noted that the findings were similar among people who moved close to bars, and among people who lived in neighborhoods where bars opened close to their homes.
The study appears in the journal Addiction.
Researcher Jaana L. Halonen told Reuters it is possible that restricting the operating hours of bars and other alcohol retailers could limit local residents’ risky drinking.
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