Do Older Adults Drink Enough Alcohol for Good Health?

The most current official Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture supports the moderate consumption of alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) as does scientific medical research.

The moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstaining from alcohol or abusing it.

Drinking alcohol in moderation is especially beneficial to more mature adults. It promotes good heart health, reduces the risk of developing dementia, and provides a number of other health benefits important to those over age fifty.

However, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health published by the U.S. government reports that only 55% of those 50 years of age consumed an alcoholic drink within the previous month and the proportion declined with increasing age. It dropped to half among those age 60-64 and to only 40% among those 65 and older.

This high rate of alcohol abstinence could lead to unneccessary pain and suffering as well as to much higher medical costs.

This website is informational only. It makes no recommendations or suggestions and none should be inferred.


  • Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2010. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC, 2011;
  • Baxter, S. Too little too late? IBJ, 2011, 67(5), 4;
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Volume I. Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD: Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-38A, HHS Publication No. SMA 10-4586 Findings, 2010.

Filed Under: Longevity | Aging

This website is informational only. It makes no suggestions or recommendations about any subject.
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