Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Binge Drinking Not Just a Rite of the Young

(HealthDay News) -- Older people who are problem drinkers consume more alcohol than their younger counterparts, a new report finds, possibly because they need more alcohol to achieve the same effect.

According to a study released this month, people dependent on alcohol who are older than 60 consume more than 40 drinks a week, on average. By contrast, younger alcoholics consume 25 to 35 drinks a week.

Older drinkers are also more likely to binge drink, a term that refers to drinking heavily in one sitting.

"A combination of high levels of drinking and the physiological effects of aging are particularly problematic for older adults," Linda Ginzer, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in social work at Ohio State University, said in a university news release.

The findings were presented Nov. 20 at a meeting in Atlanta of the Gerontological Society of America.

The researchers reached their conclusions after analyzing a national survey of more than 43,000 people taken between 2000 and 2001.

People older than 60 who suffered from alcohol dependency drank in binges an average of 19 times a month, whereas younger people in the same category averaged 13 to 15 binges a month, the study found.Read more...

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