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New Publications

26 June 2020

Ageing and Alcohol: Drinking Typologies among Older Adults


Objectives: Alcohol consumption and harms among older people are increasing. We examined different demographic characteristics and drinking patterns among an older population.

Methods: Secondary analyses of nationally representative Australian data; subjects aged 50+ years (N= 10,856). Two-step cluster analysis was performed to identify demographic groups and alcohol consumption behaviours.

Results:Three groups were identified: Group 1 (older, unmarried, and lived alone):>65 years, moderate drinkers, poorest health, psychological distress, social disadvantage, smokers, illicit drug users, and more frequent previous alcohol treatment. Group 3 (older married): >65 years, good health, low psychological distress, less likely todrink at risky levels, and one in five drank daily. Group 2 (younger married): 5064 years, mostly employed, highest proportion of risky drinkers and of 5+ standard drinks per session, and liberal drinking attitudes with most concern from others about their drinking.

Discussion:These demographic typologies can inform targeted prevention efforts for an estimated 1.3 million adults older than 50 years drinking at risky levels.

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