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article imageBinge Drinking Seniors Face Serious Health Risks

By Kay Mathews     Aug 19, 2009 in Health
Binge drinking by middle-aged and older adults was recently discovered in a Duke University study. The findings are disturbing especially due to the adverse health effects associated with binge drinking.
An online report released Aug. 17 by the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that seniors participate in binge drinking. The twist is that it is not seniors in college; rather, it is middle-aged and older Americans.
Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center found that “At-risk drinking and binge drinking are prevalent among middle-aged and elderly adults nationally, and the prevalence of middle-aged and elderly women reporting at-risk (11%) and binge drinking (6%) (although lower than the rate for men) is of public health concern.”
The researchers analyzed data from the 2005 and 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health with a focus upon the 10,953 respondents aged 50 years and older.
Binge drinking is defined as “the consumption of five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours apart) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.” Among the concerns raised in the article is the adverse health effects on middle-aged and elderly adults associated with binge drinking.
High blood pressure, poor control of diabetes, neurological damage, unintentional injuries, and intentional injuries, such as domestic violence, are just a few of the adverse health effects mentioned in the study. The researchers also found an association between gambling and binge drinking as well as the use of illicit, and abuse of prescription, drugs.
The report indicates that at-risk and binge drinking may be “hidden” from medical professionals. The researchers advise clinicians treating middle-aged and older adults to ask about incidents of binge drinking.
More about Seniors, Binge drinking, Alcohol, Health, Adverse health effects
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