Surprisingly, the population most at risk for harmful drinking behavior is not teens and college students.
Even though young people tend to partake more in alcohol consumption lack due to a lack of knowledge around alcohol and a natural lack of responsibility, they are not the population that specialists are worried about.
A new study shows that the over-50 affluent community is at the most risk for harmful drinking behaviors, according to Times Gazette.
The United Kingdom’s chief economist Professor Jose Iparraguirre said, “Our findings suggest that harmful drinking in later life is more prevalent among people who exhibit a lifestyle associated with affluence and with a ‘successful’ ageing process. Harmful drinking may then be a hidden health and social problem in otherwise successful older people. Consequently, and based on our results, we recommend the explicit incorporation of alcohol drinking levels and patterns into the successful ageing paradigm.”
Iparraguirre also reported, “Because this group is typically healthier than other parts of the older population, they might not realize that what they are doing is putting their health in danger.”
Alcohol Concern’s chief executive Jackie Ballard reported: “Harmful drinking is a real issue for middle-aged and older people, many of whom are regularly drinking above recommended limits, often in their own homes. These are the people who, if they develop alcohol related illnesses, tend to require the most complex and expensive health care due to the mental and physical problems caused by drinking too much. Unless society starts to take this seriously and acknowledges the health problems and the cost to society which too much alcohol can cause, the situation will only get worse.”
This older age group that is thought to be active, healthy and sociable tend to be more at risk of harmful and unhealthy activities compared to those that are not as affluent. Researchers are coining this as the “middle class phenomenon.”
A new study around the subject published in the journal BMJ Open was created to determine the socioeconomic factors that are connected to harmful drinking noted as excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to health problems.
The study included factors such as income, health, smoking habits, depression, social engagement activity levels and educational attainment.
Research showed that one in six adults binge drink on an average of four times a month according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, this excessive alcohol use was found even more common in adults with household incomes higher than $75,000.
And binge drinkers above the age of 65 were found to binge drink even more often, averaging about five to six times a month, according to the CDC.