BACKGROUND: Older adults are a growing segment of the European population and alcohol is an important cause of disease burden; thus, it is noteworthy that little information is available on alcohol intake among older adults in Europe.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine alcohol consumption patterns and their association with demographic and clinical variables in the older population of Spain.

DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: The sample included 3,058 individuals, representative of the Spanish population aged >/=60 years during 2008-2010.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Regular alcohol consumption was measured with a validated diet history questionnaire. The threshold between moderate and heavy drinking was >/=40 g alcohol/day in men (>/=24 g in women). Binge drinking was defined as intake of >/=80 g alcohol in men (>/=60 g in women) during any drinking occasion in the previous month, and problem drinking by a CAGE score >/=2.


STATISTICAL ANALYSIS PERFORMED: The prevalence and 95% CI of the drinking patterns were calculated after accounting for sampling design.

RESULTS: The prevalence of moderate drinking was 44.3% (95% CI 42.0% to 46.6%) and of heavy drinking was 7.8% (95% CI 6.7% to 8.9%). In total, 68.4% (95% CI 65.7% to 71.2%) of individuals obtained >80% of alcohol from wine and 61.8% (95% CI 58.9% to 64.6%) drank only with meals. Furthermore, 1% (95% CI 0.6% to 1.4%) showed binge drinking and 3.1% (95% CI 2.3% to 3.8%) showed problem drinking. Heavy alcohol consumption was significantly more frequent in men. Moderate alcohol consumption was significantly less frequent among women, persons who were not married, living alone, with a diagnosis of diabetes, receiving treatment for diabetes, and with suboptimal self-rated health. About 5% to 10% of individuals with diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease showed heavy drinking. Among those taking sleeping pills or antidiabetes or antithrombotic treatment, 37% to 46% had moderate alcohol intake and 5% to 8% had heavy intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption among older adults in Spain is frequent and mostly consistent with the traditional Mediterranean drinking pattern. However, a proportion of individuals were heavy drinkers and used medication that may interact with alcohol.

Published in Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Uni-dimensional measures of alcohol consumption may be unable to fully capture the complexity of adolescent drinking and experience of alcohol-related harms. Latent class analysis provides an empirical method to understand different adolescent drinking patterns.

METHODS: Latent class analysis was used to create typologies of drinking among the 5018 current drinkers in the national Youth '07 survey. Determinants of drinking patterns were identified using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Four latent classes were identified, demonstrating an overall increase in risk of alcohol-related outcomes from increasing consumption. One class strongly deviated from this pattern, having moderate consumption patterns but disproportionately high levels of alcohol-related problems. Multinomial logistic regression found that the strongest predictors of belonging to high-risk drinking typologies were having a positive attitude to regular alcohol use, buying own alcohol, peers using alcohol, and obtaining alcohol from friends and/or other adults. Other significant predictors included being male, having a strong connection to friends, having parents with a low level of knowledge of their daily activities and poor connection to school. Class membership also varied by ethnicity.

CONCLUSION: The latent class approach demonstrated variability in alcohol-related harms across groups of students with different drinking patterns. Longitudinal studies are necessary to determine the causes of this variability in order to inform the development of targeted policy and preventative interventions. Legislative controls, such as increasing the legal purchase age and reducing the commercial availability of alcohol, will continue to be important strategies for reducing harm in young people.

Published in Drinking Patterns



November 7, 2014, Verona, Aula Magna Policlinico Borgo Roma (Marco Faccini, Fabio Lugoboni), also supported by Unione Italiana Vini.

This international conference on alcohol consumption, abuse and dependencies, organised by prof. Lugoboni, will take place in Verona on Friday 7 November 2014 with the participation of renowned doctors from different countries.

For more information about the congress, we invite you to visit the congress-dedicated webpage:

Published in Events

AIMS: Examine associations between self-reported alcohol consumption patterns and metabolic syndrome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sample (N=7432) included adult (>/=20 years) participants in the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

RESULTS: Above moderate alcohol consumption (AMAC) was negatively associated with waist circumference among those in the 20-29, 40-49, and 70-79 age groups (beta=-6.21, beta=-8.34, and beta=-6.60, respectively) and moderate alcohol consumption (MAC) was negatively associated with waist circumference among those in the 30-39, 40-49, and 70-79 age groups (beta=-4.60, beta=-5.69, and beta=-2.88, respectively). AMAC was negatively associated with triglycerides among those in the 70-79 and 80+ age groups (beta=-23.62 and beta=-34.18, respectively) and positively associated with HDL-C levels in all groups (beta range 8.96-18.25). MAC was positively associated with HDL-C in the age groups spanning 20-69 years (beta range 3.05-5.34) and those over 80 (beta=5.26). AMAC and MAC were negatively associated with fasting glucose levels in the 20-29 and 70-79 age groups (beta=-3.38 and -15.61, respectively). MAC was negatively associated with fasting glucose levels among those 70-79 and those over 80 years of age (beta=-7.06 and beta=-5.00, respectively).

CONCLUSION: MAC and AMAC may favorably impact metabolic health.

Published in Diabetes

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