Sunday, June 13, 2021
Home Health Pandemic Boosted Drinking Among Americans Over 50

Pandemic Boosted Drinking Among Americans Over 50

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, (*50*) 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Drinking rose amongst older Americans through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that would put their well being in danger, declare researchers behind a brand new ballot.

“As we all toast the end of the worst part of the pandemic in our country, it’s important to address or prevent problematic drinking of all kinds,” mentioned one of many pollsters, Anne Fernandez, a University of Michigan psychologist who focuses on learning alcohol use.

More than 2,000 adults ages 50 to 80 had been questioned in late January, when COVID-19 case charges had been excessive nationwide and vaccination of older adults had simply begun.

About 14% of respondents who drink alcohol mentioned their ingesting elevated through the first 10 months of the pandemic.

But the speed was a lot greater among the many minority who mentioned they drink as a part of their routine, to enhance their temper or to loosen up, or to deal with boredom, stress or ache, based on the college’s National Poll on Healthy Aging.


A 3rd to half of these adults mentioned they drank extra up to now yr. Those who reported feeling remoted or lonely had been additionally extra more likely to report will increase in ingesting.

Half of the respondents mentioned they primarily drink for social causes, they usually had been extra more likely to say their ingesting decreased in 2020. This means that as socializing will increase with the easing of the pandemic, their ingesting might enhance, the ballot authors mentioned.

Overall, 23% of respondents who drink alcohol mentioned they routinely had three or extra drinks in a single sitting, and 10% mentioned they use different medication whereas ingesting, together with marijuana or prescription medicines that may have dangerous interactions with alcohol.

Routinely having three or extra alcoholic drinks on any day, and occasional binge ingesting, are each thought of indicators of problematic ingesting in any grownup, the researchers famous.

“Even before the pandemic, heavier and more risky drinking habits were increasing in older adults at a faster rate than among younger adults,” Fernandez mentioned in a college news launch.


“Not every older adult who drank more during the past year may have gone from non-risky to risky drinking, but the overall level of drinking, and the potential for interaction with other substances, is very concerning,” she mentioned.

The physique’s capability to course of alcohol adjustments with age, defined ballot director Dr. Preeti Malani, a Michigan Medicine infectious illness doctor additionally educated in geriatrics.

The identical quantity of alcohol that older adults consumed up to now might have an effect on them otherwise now, leading to steadiness issues that would result in falls and different accidents. Also, long-term ingesting can speed up age-related immune system decline and reminiscence loss.

“We get especially concerned when older adults are drinking multiple drinks at a sitting, so the 20% of older men who said they drink three to four alcoholic drinks on a typical day of drinking is concerning,” Malani mentioned.

“And 27% of those who drink said that at least once in the past year, they had had six or more drinks — which is a ‘binge’ level of alcohol consumption that is risky at any age, but more so as we age,” Malani added.


More info

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has extra about getting older and alcohol.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news launch, (*50*) 9, 2021

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