Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000


 Survey Reveals Binge Drinking Among Older Adults 
by Healthy News - 8/25/2009
One of the largest surveys of substance use has found a remarkable amount of binge-drinking among older Americans. The findings, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, were reported by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 22 percent of men and 9 percent of women aged 50 to 64 reported binge drinking -- five or more drinks at a time -- within the last month. In this age group, "at-risk" drinking -- two or more drinks per day -- was found among 19 percent of men and 13 percent of women.

The group aged 65 and up reported binge drinking in 14 percent of men and 3 percent of women. "At-risk" drinking was found among 13 percent of men and eight percent of women in this age group.

 "A surprising number of older Americans are engaging in drinking patterns that are putting their health at risk, yet these problems often go unrecognized," said Dan G. Blazer MD, PhD, the study's lead author and JP Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke. "With this study we've learned that adults, especially those in their fifties, are carrying a heavier drinking burden into late life."

Blazer explained that this trend illustrates a potentially greater problem in the future as the baby boomer generation ages. He said that if their current drinking habits continue into their senior years, they could be compounding health problems that typically arise as the body's natural defenses are weakened. The negative health effects of binge drinking can range from minor injuries to more serious problems, such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, neurological damage and poor diabetes control.

The authors propose a more rigorous use of screening for substance use and brief intervention or counseling to address the rise in alcohol use.

"Middle age and older adults may be easy to miss for at-risk or binge drinking because most clinicians are focused on excessive drinking behaviors among young people, such as those in college," Blazer said. "They also don't show the typical signs of alcohol dependence."

A nationally representative survey of nearly 11,000 men and women over 50 asked about their use of alcohol over the last year and the usual number of drinks they consumed on a drinking day during the past 30 days. The survey was conducted in 2005 and 2006. Binge drinking and at-risk drinking were defined by American Geriatrics Society Guidelines.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Overall 66 percent of men and 55 percent of women reported alcohol use during the past year.
  • Binge drinking was more common among those with a higher income and people who use tobacco and illicit drugs.
  • Caucasian (19 percent), African-American (21 percent) and Hispanic (25 percent) men had a higher prevalence of binge drinking than other ethnic groups (14 percent).
  • African-American women had a higher prevalence of binge drinking relative to Caucasian women (10 percent vs. 6 percent).
  • Being separated, divorced or widowed was associated with at-risk and binge drinking among men. Non-medical use of prescription drugs was associated with binge drinking in women.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Li-Tzy Wu is the study's co-author.

Provided by Healthy News on 8/25/2009
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     April 3-July 3, 2018
     Los Angeles, CA USA
Additional Calendar Links
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Finding Meaning, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar