The number of Britons who drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol on a weekly basis has soared over the past few years, newly-published figures show.
According to the latest Social Trends report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in five men in the UK and one in seven women now drink more than double what doctors say is a healthy amount of alcohol each week.
The number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK has more than doubled since the start of the previous decade, the figures also show.
However, the report revealed that life expectancy in the UK has increased by around ten years for men and seven for women since the early 1970s, while the past few years has also seen a marked drop in the number of Britons smoking.
Releasing the Social Trends 40 report, editor Matthew Hughes said: "The statistics highlight some of the main social changes over the last four decades.
"We are now living longer, less of us get married, and household sizes are smaller."
At the same time, a report from the National Audit Office has revealed that the gap between average life expectancy in the UK and the life expectancy of the poorest people in England has widened over the past few years.
Independent advice on private healthcare