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Study: American 60+ Demographic Drinking More

Dorathy Gass

According to a recent study, Americans in the 60+ demographic are drinking more compared to two decades ago. The research revealed that regular alcohol consumption in this group has increased, overall.

The team reviewed more than 145,000 answers via a National Health Interview Survey conducted from 1997 – 2014. The observations showed a consistent rise when it came to the amount of 60+ individuals who drank alcohol. While males reported enhanced numbers around binge-drinking and regular alcohol consumption, the highest increases percentage-wise was seen in the women.

CNN advises that there seems to be a gap within female and males who are ‘current drinkers’ taking in 12 or over alcoholic beverages more in any given year and one or more over the last year. While it may be getting closer together, there still is a tremendous difference between the two genders.

In America two decades ago, 54 percent of males that were 60+ were labelled as ‘current drinkers’, while their female counterparts hit just over 37 percent in that same category. Both males and females in this group saw a rise, with men hitting 59.9 percent, while women hit 47.5 percent. This increase for the ladies helped narrow the margin to just over 12 percent.

Binge-drinking took an interesting increase, and the habit is described as drinking five or more alcoholic beverages in one day over the year. Between 1997 – 2014, men saw an increase in binge-drinking from 19.9 percent to 22.5 percent. While binge-drinking wasn’t as frequent for females, they still saw an increase during this time period from 4.9 percent to 7.5. The results revealed that drinking has increased overall for the 60+ demographic in America and it is something to look at while the population gets older.

The numbers reveal that overall, older adults are drinking more, and the slight increase in female drinkers over 60 could be something to watch as the population ages.

Drinking as one ages can be a difficult situation. As people get older, from their 30s to 40s, bodies gain fat and lose lean tissue. The decrease in tissue affects the water an individual can hold, and water is key when it comes to diluting the alcohol we drink.

Alcohol consumption can also affect medication, that is a common factor for the 60+ demographic. Drinking along with taking prescriptions or over-the-counter meds can create dangerous effects when mixed with alcoholic beverages.

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