The buzz on senior drinking
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Heavy drinking by young adults gets attention. But a study indicates some older people do it, too.
Elizabeth Merrick of Brandeis University examined data on over 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older. She found 9 percent had patterns of unhealthy drinking.
The National Institute on Aging says there may be a problem if a senior drinks to reduce depression or needs more alcohol to get high.
Merrick says older people might not realize they become more sensitive to alcohol as they age.
“For any individual person it’s essential that they discuss with their physician what the appropriate, maximum drinking levels should be for them personally.” (11 seconds)
The study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011