Opinions: Seniors and Risky Drinking

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Opinions: Seniors and Risky Drinking

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Seniors and Risky Drinking

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 8:00am

Unhealthy use of alcohol by older adults is a serious problem. Older adults have greater sensitivity to alcohol and reduced tolerance. This results from factors including slower metabolism and changes in body composition as we age.  Excessive drinking can worsen common medical conditions including congestive heart failure, diabetes, dementia, and depression, and increase risk of falls and other injuries. It can also impact illness self-management and treatment adherence. The potential for adverse interactions between alcohol and medications adds to the risk, especially since older adults may often take multiple medications.

But at the same time, research has found that moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits, such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, alcohol use by seniors is a complex issue. 

Read more on Brown Forman's The Issues Forum 

Keywords: Health & Healthcare | Brown-Forman | Elizabeth Merrick | Positive Change | Social Impact & Volunteering | The Issues Forum | alcohol | csr | drinking | seniors | sustainability