October 15, 2019 - 15:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Although enjoying a glass of red wine now and again may be healthy for your heart and gut, drinking too much alcohol can put you at higher risk of developing many serious health conditions. Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to a number of health issues, including developing certain types of cancer, stroke, heart and liver disease, and brain damage. In older people, drinking unhealthy levels of alcohol can be even more damaging to health, and may cause memory loss, high blood pressure, balance problems, and worsen mental health.
But while many might assume that alcohol is only damaging to those who regularly drink above the recommended limits, research has also shown that binge drinking can be just as harmful.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least eight units of alcohol for men (approximately four pints of beer), and six units for women, in one sitting. Binge drinking has been shown to increase the risks of death from long-term illness, accidents, and injuries.
Current guidelines recommend people don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. That’s equivalent to seven pints of beer, or just over a bottle of wine per week.
Although binge drinking is often associated with younger people, approximately one in 10 people aged 65 and over engage in binge drinking.
Recently, researchers looked at alcohol use and risky drinking patterns in older people – specifically, its relationship to other mental disorders, such as depression and dementia. It found that one in four drinkers consumed alcohol above weekly limits and more than one in five drinkers reported binge drinking over the past 12 months.
Hospital admissions for mental disorders related to alcohol have risen by 21 per cent over the past five years in people aged 50 and over. These admissions are due to a range of mental disorders from alcohol dependence and intoxication to memory disorders such as dementia and Korsakoff’s syndrome. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has only worsened over the past 15 years as the “baby boomer” generation has aged.