Effects of Drinking Alcohol at an Older Age

HealthGeekss | July 8,2019

The recent study investigates that drinking alcohol at an older age lowers the mortality risks. However scientists are partial about their research and said that more research is needed to completely investigate the facts.

Effects of Drinking Alcohol at an Older Age


Alcohol may act differently in older age people than younger age. Some older age adults feel high without increasing the amount of alcohol. This ‘high’ can cause more likely to suffer from accidents, fall, fractures and car crash.

The debate around the facts of alcohol consumption in older age is ongoing. Some effects of drinking alcohol at an older age are:

1. Some studies states that mild to moderate alcohol consumption extends life and protects the heart while others have negated the effects and state that this is not safe.

2. Research suggests that moderate alcohol consumption by women keeps them away from stroke. While other suggests that this is due to the presence of resveratrol in wine.

3. According to some research moderate drinking 5-7 glass per week works as antidepressant. While same study negates the effect and shows that drinkinh alcohol increases depression risks.

4. Some studies shows the positive effects of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease. 

The participants in the studies have healthy lifestyle and adhered to the Mediterranean diet, so it is very difficult to to track the actual role of alcohol in these results.

People’s drinking habits change with time. So it seems impossible to track the effects of alcohol. Some researchers have warned that these data are not sufficient to reach on any results.

Study on Drinking Patterns Over Period

The Health and Retirement Study (HRS)  researched on alcohol consumption and mortality risks in United State, present their findings of 16 years follow-up period.

Katherine Keyes, author and associate professor at at Columbia University, in New York published report in Journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The report has collected information of 8000 older adults  which were born between 1931 and 1941 who also participated in 1992 study also.

Researchers accumulate information of their drinking habits, interviewed them twice a year, every year from 1998 to 2014.

For this researchers divided the participants into five categories: lifetime abstainers, current abstainers, heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers and occasional drinkers.

Lifetime abstainers had consumed less than 12 drinks in their lives, current abstainers drank in the past but not during the study. While male heavy drinkers regularly consumed more than 3 drinks per day and female heavy drinkers had drank more than 2 drinks per day.

The researchers also considered people who engaged in binge drinking — defined as 4 or more drinks in a day for women and 5 or more drinks in a day for men — to be heavy drinkers.

Moderate drinkers consumed 1–2 drinks, if they were women, or 1–3 drinks, if they were men, on 1 or more days per week and did not engage in binge drinking.

Finally, occasional drinkers consumed alcohol less often than 1 day per week. When they did drink, they had up to 3 drinks per day, for men, and up to 2 drinks per day, for women.

In the conclusion of analysis people with moderate and occasional drinkers have lower death rate than abstainers.

Additionally, the report also reviewed that moderate and occasional female drinkers are less likely to prematurely death than abstainers.

The author of the report warned the people to be cautious about the results as report contained some biases and measurement errors. Factors that are not known influenced the results. More research is necessary.

Disclaimer: This article provides generic information only collected from internet. Consult your doctor or specialist for more information. Please don’t rely on above information. HealthGeekss doesn’t claim any responsibility of information.

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