Are senior citizens more likely to binge drink?
Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:30:00 GMT —
The Centers for Disease Control say senior citizens binge drink more often than any other age group.
Nearly 40 million Americans are binge drinkers, which is a larger number than they originally thought.
Doctors say the older generation may be more prone to drink because of certain circumstances.
"Older folks tend to get more isolated as they grow older, families tend to disperse, they have more time on their hands so to speak," says Dr. Kurt Klauburg, a geriatric psychiatrist with Phoebe Putney Hospital.
However, alcohol affects the older generation in a different way, with effects lasting longer than in younger people.
Everyone has what's called a blood brain barrier, meant to keep out harmful chemicals like alcohol.
The older you get, the more permeable this barrier is and things cross over in larger amounts.
Officials also say if you're considered a binge drinker if you consume five or more drinks in one sitting for men, and four drinks in one sitting for women.