A recent study performed in the UK shows that affluent people over 50 who are fairly active and otherwise lead healthier lifestyles commonly engage in harmful drinking patterNs. The study results can be found in the BMJ Open journal online. The study shows that this group of individuals is more likely to engage in harmful drinking patterns that peers who were not as affluent or successful. The study researchers warn that risky drinking behavior is becoming a health problem that is well hidden. This has led to a call for clear guidelines on consuming alcohol for those who are over 50 and affluent.
AGE UK researchers who performed the study on harmful drinking patterns with affluent people over 50 reported that “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’ aging process. Harmful drinking may then be a hidden health and social problem in otherwise successful older people.” The researchers continued by saying “Consequently, and based on our results, we recommend the explicit incorporation of alcohol drinking levels and patterns into the successful aging paradigm.” The study involved over 9,000 responses which were part of the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing, which is a long term study. The researchers hope that by identifying this health problem and openly addressing it the harmful drinking patterns of affluent people over 50 in the UK can be curbed. Substance abuse at any age typically requires treatment, and the stigma associated with alcohol and drug use has started to disappear.