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Socio-Economic and Health Characteristics of Elderly Alcohol Beverage Consumers
This UK study determined the socio-economic and health characteristics associated with different levels of alcohol intake in older people. Specifically, the study investigated associations between reported alcohol intake and various socio-economic and health variables, first in univariate analyses and then controlling for other variables in logistic regression models. A total of 5% of men and 2.5% of women exceeded the Royal College of Physicians, Psychiatrists and General Practitioners’ recommended drinking limits of 21 and 14 units’ a week respectively; 17% of subjects had never had a drink. Women and the very elderly were less likely to be drinkers. Those that drank were  more likely to be people who still had a fairly active and sociable lifestyle and with a better self-perceived health status, compared with non-drinkers. Moderate drinkers were also less likely to be severely cognitively, impaired compared with non-drinkers. The investigators write in the conclusion, “Our results suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with relative financial security and good health with the exception of higher levels of anxiety amongst drinkers.”

Source: Hajat S et al, Patterns and Determinants of Alcohol Consumption in People aged 75 Years and Odder: Results from the MRC Trial of Assessment and Management of Older People in the Community, Age and Ageing, 33, 2004

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