Older Kiwis are heavy drinkers

Press Release – Massey University

Older Kiwis are heavy drinkers

Drinking alcohol becomes more dangerous in later life, but a new report released today by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) shows that older New Zealanders are drinking more often and in a more harmful manner than older adults in many other countries.

An international team funded by the HPA and led by researchers from Massey University’s Health, Work and Retirement Longitudinal Study and the University of Auckland’s Centre for Addiction Research used data from studies of ageing from around the world to compare alcohol use patterns. The data from more than 3,200 New Zealanders over the age of 50 was compared with data more than 62,000 similarly aged adults from England, the United States, China, Russia, India, Mexico, Ghana and South Africa.

Dr Andy Towers, research co-leader from Massey University says this is the first international comparison of the drinking habits of adults aged 50 and over. “It’s a huge undertaking, and what we found was quite worrying. Older New Zealanders are more likely to drink, to drink more often, and to drink in more harmful quantities than older adults in most other countries included in this study. Older New Zealand men particularly showed some of the most harmful drinking patterns,” he says.

You can read the full report here: https://www.hpa.org.nz/research-library/research-publications/2017-the-drinking-patterns-of-older-new-zealanders-national-and-international-comparisons
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