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The Prospective Relationship Between Binge Drinking and Physician Visits Among Older Adults

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Jenkins, Kristi R., and R.A. Zucker. 2010. "The Prospective Relationship Between Binge Drinking and Physician Visits Among Older Adults." Journal of Aging and Health, 22(8): 1099-1113.

Objectives: The objectives are to (a) determine if binge drinking is related to physician visits and (b) estimate the degree to which the relationship between binge drinking and physician visits can be explained by other health characteristics. Method: Data on a sample of 4,960 older adults (70+ years of age in 2002) from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were used. Three linear regression models estimated the impact of binge drinking on physician visits. Results: In the fully adjusted models, binge drinking did have an effect on the number of physician visits by older adults, with more frequent binge drinkers having fewer physician visits. This negative relationship exists even when demographic as well as other current health characteristics are controlled. Discussion: The implications of these results are discussed in terms of more broadly communicating the risks associated with binge drinking and more effectively targeting interventions to older binge drinkers.

DOI:10.1177/0898264310376539 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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