Over-65s have been warned about their alcohol consumption by health experts following a study of Londoners which found one in five are drinking unhealthy amounts.
Research conducted by academics from King's College London and published in BMJ Open said the Baby Boomer generation represent an ever-increasing population of older people drinking at levels that pose a risk to their health.
Analysis of more than 28,000 health records of Lambeth residents found that heavier drinkers tended to be male, younger and relatively affluent.
Men were more likely to be unsafe drinkers than women - 46% of people in the study were male, but they were 60% of the drinkers and 65% of the unsafe drinkers.
Alcohol drinkers were also more likely to be white or Irish, while people from Caribbean, African or Asian ethnicities were less likely to drink. Lambeth's ethnically diverse populations means that other parts of the country are likely to have far higher numbers of heavy drinking over-65s.
Because the findings rely on patients giving details of their drinking habits to their GP, it is likely many under-report their consumption, which also means the true levels are bound to be much higher.
Lead author Dr Tony Rao said: "As the Baby Boomer generation become seniors, they represent an ever increasing population of older people drinking at levels that pose a risk to their health."
The median alcohol consumption was six units per week for all over-65s who reported drinking. The top 5% of alcohol drinkers reported consuming more than 49 units per week for men and more than 23 units per week for women.
Study author Dr Mark Ashworth, from the Division of Health and Social Care Research at King's College London, said: "Reducing alcohol misuse is important to prevent premature death and serious negative health effects, such as alcoholic liver disease, which are big burden on our health system.
"Based on our findings, the elderly who were most at risk were those from the white British population rather than from an ethnic minority, and those who were wealthier and better educated rather than those from a more deprived background."