Are you a binge drinker?

Created date

September 27th, 2019
A man and a woman toast glasses of wine and beer.

A man and a woman toast glasses of wine and beer.

About 10% of seniors are binge drinkers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Binge drinking is considered to be five or more drinks on the same occasion for men and four or more drinks for women. It is very risky for older adults because of age-related factors such as the likelihood of having a health condition and an increased risk for falls.

Researchers say that ingesting alcohol by binge drinking can exacerbate other health conditions, interact with medications, and make it difficult for patients and providers to manage pre-existing conditions. 

On the rise

The researchers also noted that binge drinking appears to be on the rise among older adults. During the ten-year period before data was collected for the current study, binge drinking was between 7.7% and 9% in the 65-plus age group.

An assessment of health factors in binge drinkers showed that they were less likely to have most chronic diseases compared to people who drank alcohol but did not binge. The most common diseases among binge drinkers were high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. 

The reason for this, according to the researchers, could be that people tend to stop or decrease alcohol use when they develop an illness or alcohol-related health condition. In addition, the binge drinkers were more likely to be seen in emergency rooms.

This research also points to the importance of education, screening, and interventions to help prevent alcohol-related health problems and injuries.