At the end of a long day, plenty of people resort to a glass of wine or two to help take the edge off. And while there’s nothing wrong with a drink with friends or a pint at dinner, some drinkers don’t know when to call it quits.

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently published a study conducted by researchers at the NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health. It found that one in 10 boomers are binge drinkers.

“Binge drinking” was defined using the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s definition, which constitutes binging as five or more drinks on one occasion for men and four or more drinks on one occasion for women.

Binge drinking is risky for anyone, but especially dangerous for older folks who have an increased risk of chronic health issues, and for whom an inebriated fall down the stairs, for example, could be especially detrimental.

“Binge drinking, even episodically or infrequently, may negatively affect other health conditions.”
Benjamin Han
New York University

“Binge drinking, even episodically or infrequently, may negatively affect other health conditions by exacerbating disease, interacting with prescribed medications, and complicating disease management,” Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, the study’s lead author, said in NYU’s release.

The study focused on people 65 and older, and found that those who binge drink are more likely to be male and to engage in cannabis or tobacco use. Binge drinkers were less likely to have a chronic disease, likely because those battling diseases are more health-conscious and inclined to limit their alcohol intake.

No matter one’s age, binge drinking can have negative long-term effects. It’s important to be conscious of alcohol consumption, and to try to spot any negative habits before they become too difficult to break.

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