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Seniors and alcohol use

August 28, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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A recent study conducted by researchers at King’s College London examined the health records of 28,000 individuals over the age of 65 residing in a London borough. Of the 9,200 people who reported alcohol consumption, nearly 2,000 were drinking at unsafe levels.  As the senior population continues to surge worldwide, unsafe drinking is a growing concern.

The study results, published in BMJ Journal, found median alcohol consumption to be about six units (one unit = a half pint of beer) per week for the seniors who reported drinking. The top 5 percent of senior alcohol drinkers consumed the equivalent of 25.5 pints of beeper week for men and more than the equivalent of 16.5 pints of beer per week for women.

Problem drinking was more common among white British or Irish people.  Seniors of African, Caribbean or Asian descent had lower incidence of problem drinking.

Unsafe drinking can lead to health problems such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. In addition, seniors take more medications which, when mixed with alcohol, can trigger adverse events.

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