Study: Older Adults are Binge Drinking at Alarming Rates


Binge drinking is booming - among boomers.

In fact, more than one in 10 Americans ages 65 and older are binge drinkers, according to a New York University study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on Wednesday, which is defined as having five or more drinks during one occasion in the past month for men, and four or more for women.

This is sobering news, considering that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends that adults over 65 consume three alcoholic drinks or fewer a day. Alcohol misuse isn't good for anybody, but it can be dangerous for seniors in particular.

"Older adults are especially vulnerable to the harms of alcohol use, especially binge drinking, due to physiological changes of aging and the higher likelihood of having more chronic medical disease and taking more prescribed medications," lead study author Benjamin Han told MarketWatch. He's the assistant professor in the Department of Medicine's Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care at NYU Langone Health. "Binge drinking can increase the risk for injury for older adults, especially falls, and can exacerbate existing chronic disease such as hypertension," he said.

Yet the rate of baby boomers (aged 55 to 74) overindulging in alcohol is on the rise. Previous research has found that binge drinking among adults ages 50 and up spiked 19% between 2005 and 2014.




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