Problem drinking, gender and stressful life events among hospitalized elderly drinkers

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Prevalence rates for alcohol consumption, alcohol problems and stressful life events (SLEs) are presented for community hospital inpatients aged 60 to 75 who reported to have drunk alcoholic beverages within the past year. Overall in our initial sample 63% of the elderly that were interviewed reported that they drank alcoholic beverages within the past year. Among a sample of the alcohol drinkers, 26% had scores on the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test 'suggestive of alcoholism' and 18% had scores 'positive for alcoholism.' Elderly males typically drank alcoholic beverages more frequently and in greater quantity than did females. More than one-quarter of those elderly male patients who drink scored 'positive for alcoholism.' The relationship between drinking and SLEs was examined. On average, hospitalized elderly experienced 3.5 stressful life events during the three years prior to admission. Neither alcohol consumption nor alcohol problems were associated with the total number of stressful life events. However, in terms of activities of daily living, among females dependence in bathing or dressing was associated with increased drinking frequency during the past year.

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Behavior, Health, and Aging





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