Risk Factors for Problem Drinking in Seniors

Researchers at University of Georgia, American Geriatrics Society Journal, recently reported that seniors (1600 individuals ages 57-85), with chronic multiple health conditions and depression were at a high risk of developing into problem drinkers. This research is reported to be the first to document a link between chronic health problems, with depression, and consequential problem drinking in seniors.

The study found that seniors with multiple ongoing health conditions and depression were five times more likely to become problem drinkers than seniors with such health conditions and no depression. The summary of the study in the January 12, 2017, issues of ScienceDaily (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170112110038.htm) stated:

“’These findings suggest that effective training in screening and referral for mental health and alcohol use issues for health care providers of older adults may better serve the approximate 4 million older adults who currently experience problem drinking in the U.S.,’ said Orion Mowbray, assistant professor at the UGA School of Social Work and lead author of the study.”

Add these findings to the fact that most seniors tend to develop greater sensitivity to the effects of alcohol as they age, and often are taking multiple prescribed, and over-the-counter, medications that can interact adversely with alcohol, for their chronic health conditions, it is important for seniors, and those that care for, and about, them to exercise caution in their use of alcoholic beverages.

As always, comments are invited on this post. Jan Edward Williams, Alcoholdrugsos Services, Ltd., http://www.alcoholdrugsos.com, 01/17/2017.

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