Are older kiwis drinking too much?

Photo: istock

Alcohol use among the elderly is a growing concern among New Zealand medical professionals, who are balancing their patient's right to a legal drug with the potential health effects.

Dr Andy Towers, Senior Lecturer School of Health Sciences from Massey University, talks to Mark Sainsbury about the potential harms of alcohol use in older New Zealanders.

While he says that internationally there's not much known about the effects of alcohol on older adults, some facts are clear. 

Baby boomers, in particular, are drinking much much more than previous generations of older adults.

For older Kiwis, alcohol can interfere with medications and exacerbate pre-existing health problems like diabetes and heart conditions.

While a 30-year-old has enzymes that break down alcohol more efficiently, a 60-year-old’s body will process alcohol more slowly, making them more susceptible to harmful effects. 

Listen to the full interview with Dr Andy Towers above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.