Results of a survey published in the journal of Aging and Health suggest that consistent low-risk drinking is associated with lower risk of developing functional limitations among older adults.
Source: Drinking patterns and the development of functional limitations in older adults: longitudinal analyses of the Health and Retirement Survey. Lin JC; Guerrieri JG; Moore AA. Journal of Aging and Health Vol 23, No 5, 2011, pp806-821.
Data were obtained from five waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Function was assessed by questions measuring four physical abilities and five instrumental activities of daily living. Five different drinking patterns were determined using data over two consecutive survey periods.
Over the follow-up periods, 38.6% of older adults developed functional limitations. Consistent low-risk drinkers had lower odds of developing functional limitations compared with consistent abstainers, and the effect of consistent low-risk drinking was greater among those aged 50 to 64 years compared with those aged >/= 65 years. Other drinking patterns were not associated with lower odds of incident functional limitation.
The authors conclude that consistent low-risk drinking was associated with lower odds of developing functional limitations, and this association was greater among older middle-aged adults aged 50 to 64 years.