Alcohol drinking and health in ageing: A global scale analysis of older individual data through the harmonised dataset of ATHLOS

Stefanos Tyrovolas, Dimitris Panaretos, Christina Daskalopoulou, Iago Gine-Vazquez, Albert Sanchez Niubo, Beatriz Olaya, Martin Bobak, Martin Prince, Matthew Prina, Jose Luis Ayuso-Mateos, Francisco Felix Caballero, Esther Garcia-Esquinas, Arndt Holger, Sergei Scherbov, Warren Sanderson, Ilenia Gheno, Ilona Koupil, Jerome Bickenbach, Somnath Chatterji, Seppo KoskinenAlberto Raggi, Andrzej Pajak, Beata Tobiasz-Adamczyk, Josep Maria Haro, Demosthenes Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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We investigated the relation between alcohol drinking and healthy ageing by meansof a validated health status metric, using individual data from the Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project. For the purposes of this study, the ATHLOS harmonised dataset, which includes information from individuals aged 65+ in 38 countries, was analysed (n = 135,440). Alcohol drinking was reflected by means of three harmonised variables: alcohol drinking frequency, current and past alcohol drinker. A set of 41 self-reported health items and measured tests were used to generate a specific health metric. In the harmonised dataset, the prevalence of current drinking was 47.5% while of past drinking was 26.5%. In the pooled sample, current alcohol drinking was positively associated with better health status among older adults ((b-coef (95% CI): 1.32(0.45 to 2.19)) and past alcohol drinking was inversely related (b-coef (95% CI): −0.83 (−1.51 to −0.16)) with health status. Often alcohol consumption appeared to be beneficial only for females in all super-regions except Africa, both age group categories (65–80 years old and 80+), both age group categories, as well as among all the financial status categories (all p < 0.05). Regional analysis pictured diverse patterns in the association for current and past alcohol drinkers. Our results report the need for specific alcohol intake recommendations among older adults that will help them maintain a better health status throughout the ageing process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1746
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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