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Pandemic Boosted Drinking Among Americans Over 50

By Robert PreidtHealthDay ReporterTHURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Drinking rose among older Americans during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that could put their health at risk, claim researchers behind a new poll.”As we all toast the end of the worst part of the pandemic in our country, it’s important to address…

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Drinking rose among elderly Americans during the worst of their COVID-19 pandemic, which could put their health at risk, claim researchers supporting a fresh poll.

“As we all toast the end of the worst part of the pandemic in our country, it’s important to address or prevent problematic drinking of all kinds,” said one of the pollsters, Anne Fernandez, a University of Michigan psychologist who specializes in studying alcohol usage.

More than two,000 adults ages 50 to 80 were contested in late January, when COVID-19 case prices were high nationwide and vaccination of older adults had just started.

About 14percent of respondents who drink alcohol said their drinking increased during the initial 10 weeks of this pandemic.

But the speed was higher among the minority who said they drink as part of the regular, to increase their mood or to unwind, or to deal with boredom, stress or pain, as stated by the university’s National Poll on Healthy Aging.

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A third to half of those adults said they drank more in the past year. Those who reported feeling isolated or alone were more likely to report gains in drinking.

Half of the respondents said that they mostly drink for social reasons, and they were more likely to state their drinking decreased in 2020. This suggests that as socializing increases with the easing of the outbreak, their drinking may increase, the poll writers stated.

Overall, 23% of respondents who consume alcohol said they routinely had three or more drinks in one sitting, and 10% said they use other medications while drinking, such as bud or prescription drugs that can have harmful interactions with alcohol.

Routinely having three or more alcoholic beverages on every day, and intermittent binge drinking, are both considered signs of drinking in any grownup, the investigators noted.

“Even before the pandemic, heavier and more risky drinking habits were increasing in older adults at a faster rate than among younger adults,” Fernandez said in a university news release.

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“Not every older adult who drank during the last year may have gone out of non-risky to dangerous drinking, but also the overall level of drinking, along with the Possibility of interaction with other substances, is very conc

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