Too old to drink? At risk drinking in over-75s

Prof Margda Waern, psychiatrist and professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburgdrinker

Health benefits related to mild to moderate alcohol consumption include better cardiac and cerebrovascular health, decreased risk of dementia and improved quality of life. This might help to explain why we are nowadays less likely to discontinue drinking as we age. There may, however, be a down side. Over-consumption of alcohol can increase risk of cognitive impairment, self-neglect and falls. Considering this, it is surprising that we know so little about the extent to which older people engage in potentially harmful drinking. Continue reading

Could more than three million older people in England be at risk of alcohol-related harm?

Research published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, shows that the number of older drinkers classified as hazardous alcohol consumers would be in excess of three million


if age specific drinking recommendations proposed in a Royal College of Psychiatrists report were to be implemented.

Our Invisible Addicts, a report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in June 2011, suggested lowering the daily recommended alcohol limit for older people to an upper limit of an average of 1.5 units a day (averaged over a week) for people aged 65 or over.  It also suggested reclassifying binge drinking for older consumers as the consumption in a single session of more than 4.5 units for men and more than 3 units for women. Continue reading