Feeds

Proper scientists: Old folk should drink MORE, not less

UK trick-cyclists' wrinkly booze crackdown slammed

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Serious international researchers into the health effects of alcohol have uncompromisingly slammed a recent call by British trick-cyclists for severe restrictions on drinking by elderly people.

A report issued earlier this month by the Royal College of Psychiatrists described elderly (over-65) drinkers as society's "invisible addicts" and said that the government should issue stringent new recommendations on alcohol limits for older people - equivalent to just one glass of wine a day for men and a mere dirty glass for ladies.

Now, academic reviewers at the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, based at Boston University's Medical Center, have responded to the British trick-cyclists. They say that a sudden cut in old-timers drinking would probably cause a lot of dangerous health problems:

It should be made clear that 65-year-olds are healthier than people of that age a generation ago - age-specific disability rates are decreasing, not increasing.

The [UK psychiatrists'] report was conspicuously lacking in a discussion of the important role that moderate drinking can play in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, diabetes, dementia, and osteoporosis. Advising healthy people aged 65 years or older who are moderate, responsible drinkers to stop drinking or to markedly reduce their intake would not be in their best health interests, especially in terms of their risk of cardiovascular diseases ... the absolute risk for cardiovascular diseases increases markedly with age, and therefore the beneficial or protective effect of light to moderate drinking on cardiovascular diseases is greater in the elderly than in younger people.

And there are in fact many other benefits of an occasional tipple when one finds oneself getting on a bit - in fact some of the worst scourges of the elderly are alleviated.

Evidence is also accumulating that shows that the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers. Neurodegenerative disorders are key causes of disability and death among elderly people. Epidemiological studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption, may reduce the incidence of certain age-related neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Regular dietary intake of flavonoid-rich foods and/or beverages has been associated with 50% reduction in the risk of dementia, a preservation of cognitive performance with ageing,a delay in the onset of Alzheimer's disease and a reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

If this wasn't enough, the fact is that a drop of booze now and then just makes life more pleasant.

Scientific data are consistent in demonstrating that quality of life is better and total mortality is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers.

Indeed, taken overall, if the UK government as a whole - and trick-cyclists advising their patients in particular - actually wanted to help older folks to live pleasanter, healthier, more fulfilling lives they would in fact advise them to drink more, not less.

[A recent study] showed a direct dose-response relation between alcohol consumption and risk of death in women aged 16-54 and in men aged 16-34, whereas at older ages the relation is U shaped ... The authors state that their data suggest that women should INCREASE their intake to 3 units a day over age 75, and men rise from 3 units a day up to age 54 to 4 units a day up to age 84.

Full details of the damning critique responding to the psychiatrists' poorly-informed and silly recommendations can be found here at the website of the Boston University School of Medicine. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.