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Alcohol use, physical performance and functional limitations in older men
Alcohol use, physical performance, and functional limitations in older men

A recent cross sectional study which included Five thousand nine hundred sixty-two men aged 65 and older across six clinical centres sought to describe associations between recent alcohol intake, physical performance, and functional limitations in older men.

The study recoreded self-reported functional limitations; problem drinking history; history of sustained excessive drinking (history of consumption of ≥5 drinks/day on most days); and alcohol intake categorized by drinks/week (0=abstainers; < 1=intermittent); 1 to <7= light,; 7 to <14=low-moderate; 14 to <21 =high-moderate; and ≥21=heavy, n=237). Grip strength, leg power, chair stand, and walking tests were completed during a standard examination.

After age adjustment, men with low-moderate or high-moderate intake generally performed 3% to 5% better on physical performance tests than abstainers; heavy drinkers performed similarly to abstainers. These associations lessened yet tended to remain significant after multivariate adjustment. Men with low-moderate alcohol intake had the lowest odds of reporting a limitation in instrumental activities of daily living compared to abstainers; similar odds were seen for high-moderate and heavy use. The association between alcohol intake and self-reported physical limitation was U-shaped, with the highest odds of physical limitation in abstainers and heavy users) and the lowest odds in low-moderate users.

The study concludes that moderate alcohol intake was associated with modestly better physical performance and lower odds of reporting a functional limitation in older men.

Source: Alcohol Use, Physical Performance, and Functional Limitations in Older Men P Cawthon et al. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Volume 55 Issue 2 Page

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