Baby boomers are binge drinking more than ever

By Drum Digital
14 December 2016

The generation of baby boomers are binge drinking more than ever, according to new research.

Dr. Benjamin Han, a geriatrician and health services researcher at NYU Langone Medical Center, and his team looked at results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2005 to 2014, which were published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Participants self-reported their past-month alcohol intake, which the team examined to find trends of alcohol use disorder in those aged 50 or older.

The researchers identified large increases in this particular category of individuals when it came to past-month alcohol use and binging, past-year alcohol use and alcohol use disorders, with a 19 per cent increase in the number of over-50s drinking excessively in one sitting.

Results also appeared to identify women as those who binge on alcohol and have alcohol use disorder.

"Older adults have particular vulnerabilities to alcohol due to physiological changes during aging," said Dr. Han said in a statement. "However, no recent studies have estimated trends in alcohol use, including binge alcohol use and alcohol use disorders among older adults."

He insists more research needs to be carried out on baby boomers. With women, for example, they experience more psychological changes in lean body mass compared to males.

"Thus, they may experience the adverse effects associated with consuming alcohol even in lower amounts," he added.

Dr. Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor of Population Health at NYU Langone, added that the increase in binge drinking among older women is particularly alarming.

"Both men and women are at risk for getting themselves into risky sexual situations while drinking, but women are at particularly high risk," he said.

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