Page last updated: April 24, 2015

Prevalence of alcohol consumption and pattern of use among the elderly in the WHO European Region

A study published in the journal European Addiction Research examined the frequency and patterns of alcohol consumption in older adults across different European countries, and analyzed the relationship between socioeconomic status and gender with alcohol consumption.

10,119 subjects, 61.9% women were drawn from general population-based household surveys of randomly selected adults, aged 60 years and over in 14 European countries. The analysis found marked differences in alcohol consumption across countries.

Except for three countries from eastern regions, most people in all countries present moderate consumption regarding the amount of alcohol and pattern of use. However, there are marked gender differences, with a higher intake in men (effect sizes ranging from 0.57 to 1.27), although these differences are relatively proportional across countries. Finally, a higher socioeconomic status is positively related (B = 0.845, 95% CI: 0.30/1.40) with alcohol consumption after controlling for gender, age, health-functioning status and the country’s development level.

The authors conclude that there are marked differences in consumption of alcohol in the elderly between the different countries, and male gender, as well as a higher SES, were associated with higher alcohol consumption.

Source: Prevalence of alcohol consumption and pattern of use among the elderly in the WHO European Region Nuevo R; Chatterji S; Verdes E; Naidoo N; Ayuso Mateos JL; Miret M, European Addiction Research, Vol 21, No 2, 2015, pp88-96.

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