One-third of 60-plus At-risk Drinkers

LOS ANGELES, April 30 (UPI) — U.S. researchers found 34.7 percent of patients age 60 and older were at-risk drinkers.

Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said drinkers at risk were those who drank more than two drinks on most days or those who consumed one to two drinks on most days whose drinking could worsen the effects of a disease — such as hepatitis — or of their medication.

“Compared to the U.S. Census population age 60 and older, the sample studied was more likely to be white, married, well-educated and high-income,” lead study Andrew Barnes said in a statement. “However, the adjusted associations of patient demographics with at-risk drinking found in our research should be more generalizable than the descriptive data published previously.”

Barnes and colleagues looked at 3,308 older patients at primary care clinics around Santa Barbara, Calif.

The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, also found participants who had not graduated from high school had 2.5 times the odds of at-risk drinking as those who had completed graduate school.

However, those with annual household incomes between $80,000 and $100,000 had 1.5 times the odds of being at-risk as those with incomes under $30,000.

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