BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 7 October, 2002, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Concern over heavy drinking pensioners
Pensioners and beers
Growing numbers of pensioners are drinking heavily
The number of old folk who drink too much is rising fast, say campaigners, with more than a million now at risk.

The charity Alcohol Concern says that the biggest increase is among women aged over 65 - 75% up in the past decade.

Existing research suggests that many started drinking heavily late in life - in response to stresses such as the loss of a partner.


We need to look at why older people are drinking more and how we can help them to be able to drink moderately and in a pleasureable way

Anne Jenkins, Alcohol Concern
While there is much public worry about the level of binge drinking among the young, less is said about excessive alcohol consumption among the elderly.

Alcohol Concern's report, "100% Proof", calls for a more detailed investigation.

It said that figures suggested that in 2000, the number of men over 65 drinking more than the recommended safe alcohol limit was 17%.

This compares to 13% back in 1988.

While the proportion of elderly women drinking to excess is less - at 7% in 2000, the rate of increase is much higher, from 4% in 1988.

Racing ahead

This outstrips the rise in heavy drinking in young women over the same period, even though this has more than doubled.

Anne Jenkins, of Alcohol Concern, said that it was important to find out whether this was a newly-acquired habit among the elderly people surveyed, or whether heavy drinking had been a long-term activity.

She said: "Bereavement, the death of a partner or the loss of a role in society could all be possible triggers for misuse of alcohol.

"We need to look at why older people are drinking more and how we can help them to be able to drink moderately and in a pleasureable way."

The report suggested that 30,000 premature deaths a year could be attributable to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol Concern's chief executive Eric Appleby said: "We are publishing this report to draw attention to this worrying situation - and to urge the government and other potential funders to wake up to the value of investing in alcohol research."

See also:

20 Feb 01 | Health
18 Sep 02 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes