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Health Services Research & Development

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High-risk alcohol consumption and late-life alcohol use problems.

Moos RH, Brennan PL, Schutte KK, Moos BS. High-risk alcohol consumption and late-life alcohol use problems. American journal of public health. 2004 Nov 1; 94(11):1985-91.

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OBJECTIVES: We used several different guidelines for appropriate alcohol use to identify patterns of high-risk alcohol consumption among older women and men and examined associations between these patterns and late-life alcohol use problems. METHODS: A sample of 1291 older adults participated in a survey of alcohol consumption and alcohol use problems and was studied again 10 years later. RESULTS: Depending on the guideline, 23% to 50% of women and 29% to 45% of men engaged in potentially unsafe alcohol use patterns. The likelihood of risky alcohol use declined over the 10 years; however, the numbers of drinks consumed per week and per day were associated with alcohol use problems at both assessment intervals. CONCLUSION: Our findings imply that guidelines for alcohol consumption should be no more liberal for older men than for older women.

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