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Patterns of alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults: a prospective cohort study

Patterns of alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults: a prospective cohort study

Patterns of alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults: a prospective cohort study

 

Abstract

Summary

Falls are a major health problem in older adults, but their relationship with alcohol consumption in this population remains unclear. In a cohort with 2170 older adults followed up for 3.3 years, both moderate drinking and the Mediterranean drinking pattern were associated with a lower risk of falls and injurious falls.

Introduction

This study aims to examine the association between certain patterns of alcohol consumption, including the Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP), and the risk of falls in older adults.

Methods

A prospective cohort with 2170 community-dwelling individuals aged ≥60 years was recruited in Spain in 2008–2010 and followed up through 2012. At baseline, participants reported alcohol consumption and, at the end of follow-up, their falls during the previous year. The MDP was defined as moderate alcohol consumption (threshold between moderate and heavy intake was 40 g/day for men and 24 g/day for women) with preference for wine and drinking only with meals. Analyses were conducted with negative binomial or logistic regression, as appropriate, and adjusted for the main confounders.

Results

Compared with never drinkers, the number of falls was lower in moderate drinkers (incidence rate ratio (95% confidence interval), 0.79 (0.63–0.99)) and drinkers with MDP (0.73 (0.56–0.96)). Also, moderate drinkers and those with MDP showed a lower risk of ≥2 falls (odds ratio (95% confidence interval), 0.58 (0.38–0.88) and 0.56 (0.34–0.93), respectively) and of falls requiring medical care (0.67 (0.46–0.96) and 0.61 (0.39–0.96), respectively).

Conclusion

Both moderate drinking and the MDP were associated with a lower risk of falls and injurious falls in older adults. However, sound advice on alcohol consumption should balance risks and benefits.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00198-017-4157-2

(Articolo pubblicato dal CUFRAD sul sito www.alcolnews.it)