Alcohol use among older adults in Scandinavian countries found to be increasing

Health News
Tags :
Health News
Share This :

older person drinking wine
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A large proportion of older people state that they drink alcohol twice a week or more and the difference in alcohol use between men and women is getting smaller, according to researchers at the University of Agder.

In recent decades, alcohol consumption among older adults has increased in both Norway and Scandinavia.

In the Scandinavian countries, this trend first started in Denmark in the 1970s. Just over a decade later, the same thing happened in Sweden and Norway. The increase was greatest in the period up to around 2005. After that, alcohol consumption among older people has been more stable.

“In Norway, over 80% of older people between the ages of 60 and 79 state that they drink alcohol. Around one in four said they drink twice a week or more often. We also see that the gender differences in alcohol use are becoming less pronounced,” says Professor Terje Emil Fredwall at the Center for Care Research, University of Agder.

Together with colleague Anne Jørstad Antonsen, he conducted a scoping review (in Norsk) on alcohol use among older adults, which is based on 51 research and development studies on the subject.

The last time such a large scoping review was published in Norway was in 2011.

Older people drink more often, but in small amounts

When older people drink alcohol, it is usually wine. It is most common to drink one to two units per session. Two thirds of the women over 60, and around half of the men report this.

“Generally speaking, we can say that older people in Norway drink alcohol more frequently than before, but in relatively small quantities. There is still a larger proportion of older men who drink—and who drink often—compared to women,” says Fredwall.

Research shows that alcohol is often associated with social engagement, gatherings and enjoyment of life in older people. However, several of the studies show that alcohol use can also be associated with difficulties such as social isolation, stress and illness, or life transitions such as retirement and bereavement.

Alcohol consumption is one of the most important risk factors for the loss of healthy years of life and for non-communicable diseases. This applies to both young and old.

But for people in later life, alcohol use can be particularly challenging. As we get older, our metabolism slows down, and both body mass and proportion of fluid in the body decrease.

“The studies we reviewed show that older adults often don’t recognize or have a lack of knowledge about the risks associated with drinking alcohol. Existing health challenges, as well as the risk of accidents and fall injuries, can be intensified when you drink. There are also a number of possible negative consequences for older people who combine drinking alcohol with the use of medicines,” says research fellow Anne Jørstad Antonsen.

Just under one in three people in Norway over the age of 65 who say they drink one or more times a week say that they also use potentially addictive medication. The use of such medicines seems to increase somewhat the more often one drinks.

“It could be that older people don’t know enough about the risks of using alcohol and psychotropic drugs. The studies indicate that the use is downplayed and rationalized as something older people ‘just do.’ However, it is also important to be aware that older adults are more vulnerable to serious side effects from concurrent use than younger people,” Fredwall says.

Provided by
University of Agder

Alcohol use among older adults in Scandinavian countries found to be increasing (2023, June 20)
retrieved 20 June 2023

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular News Posts


Our Exclusive Products

Our Store

Our mission is simple, offer quality products that make our customers lives better at a reasonable price, while ensuring a hassle-free shopping experience. This means that before we bring a product to market, we test it to ensure that it meets our high-level quality standards. Our customer service team understand our products and can answer most every product related question quickly and efficiently. We strive everyday to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations of quality and support! Should we ever fail to meet this expectation – contact us and we will make it right!

Our Value: We are proud of our product and accomplishments, but we typically don’t shout it from the rooftop. Instead, we prefer to let our product and customers do the talking. Our core values can be recognized in our product. The qualities we strive for include:

Pragmatism: We design simple, useful solutions for common needs
Quality: From design to final product, we strive for durable solutions that work
Originality: Creativity and innovation are what makes our product unique
Design: Our minimalist and bold design language focuses on functionality and simplicity that is timeless

0 +

Top Rated Products

0 +

Happy Customers