Older Americans Are Drinking More

People Over 60 Are Drinking More Than They Were 20 Years Ago

Americans over age 60 are drinking more than they were 20 years ago. A study published recently in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that regular consumption among older populations is on the rise, reports CNN. 

Researchers analyzed more than 145,000 responses to the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2014. They observed a steady increase in the number of older adults who consumed alcohol. Men reported higher numbers of regular and binge-drinking tendencies than women, but the largest percentage increases were seen in the female population.

In the U.S. 20 years ago, 54 percent of men 60 and older were reported to be "current drinkers," and 37.8 percent of women fit the same description. In 2014, both groups saw increases: Men rose to 59.9 percent and women to 47.5 percent. The slightly larger uptick in women closed the margin to 12.4 percentage points.

Trends in the binge-drinking category—consuming five or more drinks in a single day in the past year—also increased among older people. From 1997 to 2014, binge drinking in men rose from 19.9 percent to 22.5 percent. Instances were much less frequent in women but had a similar upward trend, with 4.9 percent of older women reportedly binge drinking in 1997 and 7.5 percent in 2013.


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