updated 4/19/2007 1:07:55 PM ET 2007-04-19T17:07:55

One in four men in New York City reported binge drinking in 2005, or having five or more drinks on one occasion during the previous month, city Health Department said in a report released Wednesday.

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The statistics — the latest available — are contained in the agency's annual community health survey of 10,000 New Yorkers, who were randomly selected and interviewed by phone throughout 2005.

The survey found that men over the age of 18 were more than three times as likely as women to binge drink.

The report said that about one in four Hispanic and white males indulged in binge drinking, compared to about one in six black men and one in eight Asian men. It also found that white women were more likely to binge drink than black, Hispanic or Asian women, but still half as likely than men.

"Alcoholism is a disease, but recovery is possible," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. "Drinking too much can lead to liver damage, injuries, cancer and death." He recommended that people who regularly drink in excess seek a doctor's help or call the city's 311 non-emergency hotline and ask for LifeNet.

The Health Department said men should not have more than four drinks on one occasion or 14 in a week. Women should limit their alcohol intake to three drinks on one occasion or seven in a week, it said.

Reports of binge drinking in the city in 2005 were lower than those nationally. The Health Department said 23 percent of New York men reported binge drinking, compared to 31 percent nationally. For all New Yorkers, 14 percent reported binge drinking, compared to 24 percent nationally. For women, the number was the same — 7 percent.

The margin of error for the portion of the survey related to binge drinking is plus or minus one percentage point.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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