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Queens drinkers on par with citywide stats: Health Dept.

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The 15 percent rate for Queens was the same as for New York City as a whole but was far below Manhattan, where the rate for excess imbibing was 22 percent."While approximately one-third of New Yorkers drink alcohol moderately and half do not drink at all, 15 percent drink excessively, the New York City Department of Health said in a study titled "Alcohol Use In New York City."The Health Department defined excessive drinking as having more than two alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than one per day for women or more than four drinks on any one occasion.Staten Island had the same excessive drinking rate as Queens at 15 percent. In Brooklyn, it was 13 percent and the Bronx 11 percent.The survey said every neighborhood in Manhattan south of 96th Street had an excess drinking problem.In Queens, "problem" neighborhoods listed were Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Maspeth. Eastern Queens had the fewest cases of excessive drinking in the borough.In Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope were areas cited for excessive drinking as were parts of northern Staten Island.The highest excessive drinking areas were Greenwich Village and Chelsea in Manhattan, both at 32 percent.The Health Department also said:Men are nearly twice as likely as women to drink excessively (20 percent and 11 percent).Adults under age 45 are twice as likely as older New Yorkers to report drinking excessively (20.5 percent vs. 9.3 percent).Excessive drinking is more common among New Yorkers with household incomes greater than $50,000 (22 percent) compared with those with incomes between $25,000 and $49,000 (17 percent) and those with incomes less than $25,000 (12 percent).Some 21 percent of white New Yorkers report excessive drinking compared with 15 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of blacks, the report found. However, blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be hospitalized or die from alcohol-related causes.The Health Department said that each year an estimated 1,500 New Yorkers die and 25,000 others are hospitalized from alcohol-related illnesses, accidents and acts of violence."The Health Department is committed to helping New Yorkers live free of dependence on alcohol and other drugs," the study said.The Health Department said the study was conducted through telephone interviews with residents in every neighborhood of the city.Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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