This study was supported by Grants ROI-AA-07236 and P50-AA-07378 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The Relationship Between Alcohol Symptoms and Consumption Among Older Drinkers
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 20, Issue 7, pages 1153–1158, October 1996
How to Cite
Chermack, S. T., Blow, F. C., Hill, E. M. and Mudd, S. A. (1996), The Relationship Between Alcohol Symptoms and Consumption Among Older Drinkers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 20: 1153–1158. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1996.tb01104.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication October 4, 1995; accepted May 15, 1996
The present study assessed the relationship between current alcohol symptoms and consumption levels in a heterogeneous sample of older adults. The sample consisted of 443 participants over age 55 who reported drinking within the past year, including social drinkers, alcoholics in treatment, and alcoholics not in treatment. Symptoms for the past year were assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS-Ill-R) alcohol section, and subjects were subsequently assigned to two groups (symptom-free and symptomatic), depending on whether they experienced any DSM-III-R alcohol symptoms in the last year. For both men and women, average daily consumption and the frequency of heavy drinking contributed to whether participants had experienced any alcohol symptoms. The results indicate that the consumption levels of men and women differed only for symptomatic drinkers. The findings support recommendations that consumption limits for older adults should be lower than those recommended in the literature for younger adults. Furthermore, the results suggest that, in addition to limiting average daily consumption to no more than one drink per day, eliminating episodes of heavy drinking (consuming five or more drinks) could further reduce the risk of alcohol-related symptoms for older adults. Key Words: Elderly, Problem Drinking.