Older men who drink as few as two drinks twice a week and also have diseases that could be worsened by alcohol or cause problems with medications taken while drinking alcohol have higher death rates, as compared to men who either drink less or may drink more but dont have such comorbidities.
Examining data from a 1971–74 health survey and a follow-up survey in 1992, the researchers found that older men who drank moderately or heavily and had accompanying comorbidities that could be worsened by alcohol use such as gout or ulcer disease, or who took medications that could interact negatively with alcohol use, such as sedatives or pain medications, had 20 percent higher mortality rates than other drinkers.
The longitudinal study -- the first to examine in a large population the mortality risks inherent in alcohol use and comorbidity -- will be published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It is available now online at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/jgs/0/0.
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