Older adults who binge drink may not live as long as moderate drinkers who consume the same amount of alcohol weekly, but spread it out more, a new study finds.
Older adults who binge drink at least once a month may be setting themselves up for an earlier grave, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that men and women in their mid-50s to mid-60s who engaged in binge drinking — even when their total number of weekly drinks was considered moderate — had an increased risk of dying over a 20-year period compared with regular, moderate drinkers.
"This is one of the first studies to focus explicitly on an older population in examining binge drinking among, on average, moderate drinkers," said study author Charles Holahan, a professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.
In the study, Holahan and his colleagues tracked the drinking behavior of 443 older people ages 55 to 65 at the study's start. Participants were all considered moderate drinkers, meaning their average daily alcohol consumption was at least one-half a drink a day during the past month.
The researchers then compared the death rate in older adults who reported they were binge drinkers to that of regular moderate drinkers during a 20-year follow-up period. They also took into account factors such as marital status, smoking, income, depression symptoms and medical conditions, which could all influence the results. [7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health]
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