Binge drinking has become nearly synonymous with college students.
But turns out, a study released a couple of years ago shows a significant, worrisome level of binge drinking among those age 50 to 64 as well.
Working with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Duke University researchers report that 22% of men and 9% of women ages 50 to 64 engaged in binge drinking — five or more drinks at a time — within the past month of the survey.
The research, based on a survey of 11,000 men and women that took place in 2005 and 2006, was published and reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The survey also found that 19% of the men and 13% of the women had two or more drinks a day, which is considered heavy or “at-risk” drinking under American Geriatric Society guidelines for older people.
Dan Blazer, the study’s lead author and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Duke, says that level of drinking places the older group at more of a health risk than younger counterparts.
“They don’t metabolize alcohol as quickly, they may be on medications, or they may have some health problems that alcohol may contribute to,” Blazer says. “On average, if a young person drinks five beers and an older person drinks five beers, the older person is almost certainly going to have more difficulty.”
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