It has been discovered that there is a notable percentage of people over the age of 50 who are binge drinkers. This concerns experts who are afraid that this could cause health problems for these boomers in the future if they keep drinking heavily. A new study performed by Duke University Medical Center researchers shows this to be true.
In the survey, twenty-two percent of men and 9 percent of women from age 50 to 64 reported drinking 5 or more drinks at one time during the past month. The survey will be published in an online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The study revealed 19 percent of men and 13 percent of women in the same age group drank heavily or had two or more drinks a day. Researchers found that in the 65 -and- older age group, 14 percent of men and 3 percent of women were binge drinking. The research, called “National Survey on Drug Use and Health”, is one of the largest significant surveys using people older than 50.
Dr. Dan Blazer, the study’s lead author and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke Medical Center, says that drinking is more prone to make health problems worse for older people because their body’s natural immunities are already weakened. He said that things such as their driving, anxiety or blood pressure medication could all be adversely affected. Additional health problems could arise and cause them to be at an increased risk.
Unfortunately Blazer claimed that this trend is not only likely to continue but to even get worse, because younger people use and abuse alcohol even more than the age groups that were studied. The current findings reveal that drinking doesn’t slow down or stop when people get older. He said, “people need to know that sitting down and drinking five cocktails or seven or eight beers is not without consequence.” He believes this troubling trend has not been recognized much because doctors are not asking enough specific questions.
This study did not go into the causes for this drinking trend.