A new study finds more than half of U.S. adults age 65 and older who use alcohol and visited their health care provider in the past year were not asked about their alcohol use.
Women were less likely than men to discuss alcohol use with their provider, HealthDay reports.
“Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications,” lead researcher Pia Mauro of Columbia University said in a news release. “Alcohol use can therefore lead to negative consequences and complicate the management of chronic medical diseases among older adults, making discussions about alcohol with providers particularly important in this population.”
The researchers analyzed data on more than 9,600 adults age 65 and older who reported alcohol use and had visited a health provider for any reason in the past year. They found 54% did not discuss their alcohol use with any provider. Among those who did discuss their alcohol use, 10% of men and 7% of women were asked about drinking problems.