Skip to main content
×
Home

Alcohol, hospital admissions, and falls in older adults: a longitudinal evaluation

  • Robert J. Tait (a1) (a2), Davina J. French (a2), Richard A. Burns (a2), Julie E. Byles (a3) and Kaarin J. Anstey (a2)...
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Background: There are limited data on the impacts of alcohol use in older adults. We aimed to evaluate self-reported hospital admissions and falls against current Australian alcohol consumption guidelines.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal analysis of data from five Australian cohort studies. The study comprised 16,785 people aged 65 years or older at baseline. Alcohol consumption was categorized using Australian guidelines in standard (10 g) drinks per day as “abstinent,” “low-risk” (>0 ≤2), “long-term risk” (>2 ≤4), or “short-term risk” (>4). Separate generalized estimating equations for men and women, controlling for key demographic, and health variables (depression, diabetes, circulatory and musculoskeletal conditions) were used to examine the relationship of alcohol consumption with hospitalization and falls against a reference category of low-risk consumption.

Results: Most participants were in the low (10,369, 62%) or abstinent (5,488, 33%) categories. Among women, all alcohol groups had greater odds of admission than low-risk users; among men, only the abstinent group had increased odds. For both genders, depression, diabetes, circulatory and musculoskeletal conditions all increased the odds of admission. For both genders, the unadjusted model showed that abstainers had increased odds of falling, with depression, diabetes, and for women, musculoskeletal conditions also associated with falls in the adjusted model.

Conclusion: These outcomes suggest that older women in particular could benefit from targeted alcohol consumption messages or interventions. In relation to falls, other health conditions appear better targets for intervention than alcohol use.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Robert Tait, Centre for Mental Health Research, College of Medicine and Health Science, Building 63, Eggleston Road, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Phone: +61 2 6125 9106; Fax: +61 2 61250733. Email: Robert.Tait@anu.edu.au.
References
Hide All
Adams W. L., Yuan Z., Barboriak J. J. and Rimm A. A. (1993). Alcohol-related hospitalizations of elderly people: prevalence and geographic variation in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, 270, 12221225.
Aira M., Hartikainen S. and Sulkava R. (2005). Community prevalence of alcohol use and concomitant use of medication – a source of possible risk in the elderly aged 75 and older? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 680685.
Anstey K. J.et al. (2010). Cohort profile: the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project. International Journal of Epidemiology, 39, 4451.
Balsa A. I., Homer J. F., Fleming M. F. and French M. T. (2008). Alcohol consumption and health among elders. The Gerontologist, 48, 622636.
Bell A. J., Talbot-Stern J. K. and Hennessy A. (2000). Characteristics and outcomes of older patients presenting to the emergency department after a fall: a retrospective analysis. Medical Journal of Australia, 173, 179182.
Burge R., Dawson-Hughes B., Solomon D., Wong J., King A. and Tosteson A. (2007). Incidence and economic burden of osteoporosis-related fractures in the United States, 2005–2025. Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 22, 465475.
Burns R. A., Butterworth P., Windsor T., Luszcz M. A., Ross L. A. and Anstey K. J. (2011). Deriving prevalence estimates of depressive symptoms throughout middle and old age in those living in the community. International Psychogeriatrics, 24, 503511.
Burns R. A., Birrell C. L., Steel D., Mitchell P. and Anstey K. J. (2012). Alcohol and smoking consumption behaviours in older Australian adults: prevalence, period and socio-demographic differentials in the DYNOPTA sample. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Epublished ahead of print, PMCID 22878831.
Byles J., Young A., Furuya H. and Parkinson L. (2006). A drink to healthy aging: the association between older women's use of alcohol and their health-related quality of life. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54, 13411347.
Cawthon P.et al. (2006). Alcohol intake and its relationship with bone mineral density, falls, and fracture risk in older men. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54, 16491657.
Conigrave K. M., Saunders J. B. and Whitfield J. B. (1995). Diagnostic tests for alcohol consumption. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 30, 1326.
Coutinho E., Fletcher A., Bloch K. and Rodrigues L. (2008). Risk factors for falls with severe fracture in elderly people living in a middle-income country: a case control study. BMC Geriatrics, 8, 21.
Dufour M. C. (1992). Alcohol and the elderly. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 8, 127141.
Green C. A. and Polen M. R. (2001). The health and health behaviors of people who do not drink alcohol. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 21, 298305.
Hanley J. A., Negassa A., Edwardes D. and Forrester J. E. (2003). Statistical analysis of correlated data using generalized estimating equations: an orientation. American Journal of Epidemiology, 157, 364375.
International Center for Alcohol Policies (2010). International Drinking Guidelines. Washington, DC: ICAP.
Jackson R., Broad J., Conner J. and Wells S. (2005). Alcohol and ischaemic heart disease: probably no free lunch. Lancet, 366, 19111912.
Lang I., Guralnik J., Wallace R. B. and Melzer D. (2007). What level of alcohol consumption Is hazardous for older people? Functioning and mortality in U.S. and English national cohorts. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55, 4957.
Midanik L. T. (1988). Validity of self-reported alcohol use: a literature review and assessment. British Journal of Addiction, 83, 10191029.
Mukamal K.et al. (2003). Alcohol consumption and carotid atherosclerosis in older adults: the cardiovascular health study. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 23, 22522259.
Mukamal K. J., Mittleman M. A., Longstreth W. T. Jr, Newman A. B., Fried L. P. and Siscovick D. S. (2004). Self-Reported alcohol consumption and falls in older adults: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the cardiovascular health study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 11741179.
Naimi T. S.et al. (2005). Cardiovascular risk factors and confounders among nondrinking and moderate-drinking U.S. adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 369373.
National Health and Medical Research Council (2009). Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. Canberra: NHMRC.
Scollo M. M. and Winstanley M. (2008). Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Australia.
Singer J. D. and Willett J. B. (2003). Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis. Oxford: OUP.
Sorock G. S., Chen L.-H., Gonzalgo S. R. and Baker S. P. (2006). Alcohol-drinking history and fatal injury in older adults. Alcohol, 40, 193199.
Stevens J. A. and Sogolow E. D. (2005). Gender differences for non-fatal unintentional fall related injuries among older adults. Injury Prevention, 11, 115119.
Stevens J. A., Ryan G. and Kresnow M. (2006). Fatalities and injuries from falls among older adults – United States, 1993–2003 and 2001–2005. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 55, 12211225.
Tait R. J., French D. J., Burns R. and Anstey K. (2012). Alcohol use and depression from middle age to the oldest old: gender is more important than age. International Psychogeriatrics, 24, 12751283.
Thun M. J.et al. (1997). Alcohol consumption and mortality among middle-aged and elderly U.S. adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 337, 17051714.
Vestal R., McGuire E., Tobin J. D., Andres R., Norris A. H. and Mezey E. (1977). Aging and alcohol metabolism. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 21, 343354.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 53 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 334 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.