Alcohol Use, Physical Performance, and Functional Limitations in Older Men
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2007
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 55, Issue 2, pages 212–220, February 2007
How to Cite
Cawthon, P. M., Fink, H. A., Barrett-Connor, E., Cauley, J. A., Dam, T.-T., Lewis, C. E., Marshall, L. M., Orwoll, E. S., Cummings, S. R. and for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Research Group (2007), Alcohol Use, Physical Performance, and Functional Limitations in Older Men. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55: 212–220. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01062.x
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2007
- instrumental activities of daily living (IADL);
- functional status;
- physical performance
OBJECTIVES: To describe associations between recent alcohol intake, physical performance, and functional limitations in older men.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Six U.S. clinical centers.
PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand nine hundred sixty-two men aged 65 and older.
MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported functional limitations; problem drinking history (≥2 positive responses on the CAGE questionnaire); history of sustained excessive drinking (history of consumption of ≥5 drinks/day on most days); and alcohol intake categorized by drinks/week (0=abstainers, n=2,116; < 1=intermittent, n=739); 1 to <7= light, n=1,563; 7 to <14=low-moderate, n=848; 14 to <21 =high-moderate, n=459; and ≥21=heavy, n=237). Grip strength, leg power, chair stand, and walking tests were completed during a standard examination.
RESULTS: After age adjustment, men with low-moderate or high-moderate intake generally performed 3% to 5% better on physical performance tests than abstainers; heavy drinkers performed similarly to abstainers. These associations lessened yet tended to remain significant after multivariate adjustment. Men with low-moderate alcohol intake had the lowest odds of reporting a limitation in instrumental activities of daily living (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.39–0.69) compared to abstainers; similar odds were seen for high-moderate and heavy use. The association between alcohol intake and self-reported physical limitation was U-shaped, with the highest odds of physical limitation in abstainers (OR=1.0, referent) and heavy users (OR=0.88, 95% CI=0.58–1.36) and the lowest odds in low-moderate users (OR=0.62, 95% CI=0.46–0.95).
CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol intake was associated with modestly better physical performance and lower odds of reporting a functional limitation in older men.