Study: 10% of Older Adults Are Binge Drinking

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by Evann Gastaldo

There are the usual problems associated with binge drinking—and then there’s an additional set of problems associated with binge drinking as you age.

That second set of problems is something we need to be concerned with, say researchers involved in a new study that found an estimated 10.6% of people over age 65 reported binge drinking in the prior 30 days. That’s defined as five or more drinks in one sitting for men, or four or more for women.

As lead study author Dr. Benjamin Han explains to NBC News, a person’s body becomes more sensitive to alcohol the older they get. “They still think they can drink the same way, but the risks increase quite a bit,” he says. Researchers say more studies are needed, but rates of binge drinking among older adults may be rising; Time notes the rate of binge drinking among older adults was 7% in 2006.

Binge drinking can make certain chronic health issues, including hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, worse, and may put people at risk for other chronic conditions including cancer, dementia, and liver disease. It can also cause people to forget to take medications and can put them at risk for falls.

The fall risk is increased if they are also using cannabis, and the study found cannabis use was higher among subjects who reported binge drinking—not to mention the fact that falls are the leading cause of broken bones, trauma, and deaths among older adults even when alcohol and cannabis use are not considered.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, analyzed data on nearly 11,000 people over age 65 who participated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2015 and 2017. “We focus so much on young people and their risky drinking,” says senior author Joseph Palamar. “But this research reminds us that we also have to keep an eye on the older population.”

In case you missed it: WHO Notes Booze Killed Over 3m People In 2016

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on August 4, 2019. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to Study: 10% of Older Adults Are Binge Drinking

  1. jess Reply

    August 4, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Waves hands. For a while I was dong this to outrun my demons. Drink… go to sleep, forget everything wake up drink some more. Haven’t done binge drinking for a few months now and I have cut back on my weed consumption also, due to new fella and the fear it could cling to him and he may fail a drug test and would lose his firefighting job. I would feel bad if that happened because he likes it, that and his Air Force reserve duties. I just drink socially now. The weed, only when I am not with the fella which has been great these past three weeks or so, weed up the wazoo for yours truly 🙂 Not literally up the wazoo because that would be a TOTAL waste of really good weed.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      August 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      I was once a slave to the demon rum, well, not rum, scotch actually, but no more. I got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, so I quit, almost completely, until I realized it had to be completely or not at all. So, it’s now completely. A friend gave me some edibles but didn’t give me instructions, so instead of eating just one brownie, I ate two, because the first one didn’t seem to work until it did, along with the second one. Never again. I was being chased by monsters and the frightening thought I had become a Republican.

      • jess Reply

        August 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        A friend of mine does the edible gummy bears and one is enough of those for me because of the amount of whatever he puts in there. Well that and the gummy bear is about 2 inches versus the teeny tiny Haribo ones 🙂

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