Older women drink more than they did 20 years ago, study finds

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Americans over the age of 60, especially women, drink more than they did 20 years ago, a study found.

A study published in a March 24 issue of the journal "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" found that between 1997 and 2014 women who reported drinking regularly had increased by 9 percent.

Researchers looked over more than 145,000 responses in a National Health Review survey done between those years. The data showed a steady increase in the number of adults consuming alcohol.

More men than women reported drinking regularly, but the overall increase among women was 3 percent more than men over the same time frame.

In 1997, 54 percent of men said they drank compared to nearly 60 percent in 2014, which is a 6 percent increase.

As for women, nearly 38 percent in 1997 reported drinking. In 2014, nearly 60 percent of women said they drank, which is a 9 percent increase within the time frame.

The information was concerning for researchers because alcohol consumption can result in more health problems for older people.

The body metabolizes alcohol differently as people age and it can interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications that many older adults may take.

Women who drink are also more prone to cancer, brain damage, heart disease and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
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