DRY JULY Alcohol risk for older people may be greater than that for teens

DRY JULY Alcohol risk for older people may be greater than that for teens

You may have seen the cliché of older people shaking their heads while talking about how badly behaved the young are these days when it comes to alcohol, however there is a serious and dramatic increase in older problem drinkers.

“We know a lot of neurobiological changes occur during aging which underlie age-related cognitive and behavioral deficits.  It’s reasonable to suspect a significant interaction exists between age-related and alcohol-induced effects in the brain”
Dr. Jim Diaz-Granados.

“Health implications such as falls, accidents and poor medicine-taking are pretty easy to conclude [in elderly drinkers]”
Dr. Douglas B. Matthews, research scientist in psychology and neuroscience, in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

What is the cold hard reality check for older drinkers?

  • 13% of men and 8% of women over 65 take part in risky drinking behaviour
  • 1%-3% are seriously abusing alcohol
  • Aging can reduce the body’s ability to adapt to alcohol
  • Older adults reach higher blood levels of alcohol even when consuming the same number of drinks as younger people (less water in the body means alcohol becomes more concentrated)
  • The elderly get drunk faster – even on a lower alcohol intake
  • People 65 and older will account for 20%-30% of much of the developed world by the year 2030.

Study by Baylor University as published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, April 2013.  As reported by The Huffington Post on April 15, 2013.

 


 

Posted: Tuesday 9 July 2013

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