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Older Adults, Not Just Young People, in US Drink Way too Much Alcohol, finds Survey

  01 Aug 2019        Health
Older Adults, Not Just Young People, in US Drink Way too Much Alcohol, finds Survey

According to a new research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, binge alcohol drinking has become a habit among older American adults, not just college students. While young Americans are more often than not criticized for their drinking habit, senior citizens of the country have been found to binge drink too. Alcohol use of over 10,000 adults aging 64 years or above during the two-year period 2015-2017 was surveyed for the study. The researchers found that binge drinking is common among over 10% of older adults, which increases their risk of suffering from a health problem.

“Our results are underscoring the significance of intervening, screening, and educating for preventing harms related to alcohol in older adults, who may not be aware of how alcohol can be exacerbating chronic diseases and of their heightened risk for injuries,” said NYU Langone Health’s Assistant Professor and lead author of the study, Dr. Benjamin Han.

Survey finds binge drinkers are most commonly affected by high blood pressure

According to the findings of the research, high blood pressure was reported as the most common chronic disease during the survey, with more than 41% of the respondents saying they suffer from the health problem. Over 17% of the respondents reported diabetes and just above 23% of them reported heart disease. Furthermore, the study shows that men and consumers of cannabis are at significantly greater risk of binge drinking alcohol. One of the highlights of the study is a crucial finding that suggests there could be more harmful results associated with a combination of binge drinking and cannabis use than just using either of them.

“Even infrequently or episodically, binge drinking might affect other health conditions negatively by complicating disease management, interacting with prescribed medications, and exacerbating disease,” said Han.

Experts say that the prevalence of marijuana use is increasing in older adults, besides young people. There could be serious unwanted outcomes of drinking alcohol with marijuana, which calls for educating people about intense impairment effects of the combined use of alcohol and marijuana.