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More Seniors Are Binge Drinking, Study Says

Rebecca Corral
July 31, 2019 - 4:53 pm

The problem of heavy drinking, long associated with younger generations, is becoming more common among senior citizens, according to new research. 

“No American who is older should be drinking more than three drinks a day,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula said. 

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society shows that while millennials are drinking a bit less, folks over 65 are drinking more. One in 10 seniors admits to binge drinking. That amount to four drinks for women or five for men in a session. 

“The alcohol has a very strong effect on people who are older,” Narula said. “They’re more vulnerable to the health problems than even a younger population.”

And with older folks more likely to suffer from at least one chronic disease, heavy drinking is more likely to put them in the hospital. 

“If you have some kind of chronic disease or are on a prescription med, you should speak to your doctor and they may recommend something even lower,” Narula said. “Low-risk drinking is really less than two drinks a day for a man or one drink a day for women.”

The study found that 70 percent of older people in the hospital are there for alcohol-related problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which are all made worse by booze.