Older Drinkers Are Healthier Both Before and After Surgery

Research finds that older drinkers are healthier both before and after surgery. Those aged 60 or older who drank moderately or heavily had better health. This was in comparison to those who drank no or little alcohol. There were 628 patients. Of those, 397 were male and 231 were female.


        1. Data Collection
        2. Findings
        3. Resources: Older Drinkers are Healthier


At the beginning of the study, the researchers gathered data. First, they asked about quantity and frequency of drinking. Also the amount consumed on each occasion and frequency of heavy drinking.

Second, they asked participants about their health. They involved the following.

    • Overall health.
    • Mobility
    • Self-care (washing, dressing, etc.)
    • Usual activities (work, housekeeping, leisure, etc.)

Data collection occurred before patients had elective surgeries lasting at least one hour. Researchers again asked the health questions 180 days after surgery.

Researchers also divided patients into two groups based on drinking. First, no or low alcohol consumption (LAC). Second, medium and heavy drinking (HAC).

They then adjusted for major factors. These included age, physical status, education, and body mass index (BMI).


With longer longevity, the number of older people having surgery will increase. So understanding the role of alcohol on surgical outcomes is important.

This research found that moderate and heavy older drinkers are healthier both before and after surgery.

Specifically, before surgery, HAC compared to LAC patients, had the following.

 drinkers are healthier
Dr. Maria Wittmann, co-researcher.
    • Better overall health.
    • Greater mobility.
    • More likely perform self-care.
    • Better able to do usual activities.

After surgery, HAC patients were compared to LAC patients. HAC had better overall health, better mobility, more self-care, and better able to do usual activities.


A. Web Pages

B. Reading

Kuerbis, A. et al. Alcohol and Aging. Cham: Springer, 2019.

C. Source

Guttenthaler, V. and Wittmann, M. Paper at the Euroanaesthesia Congress, Milan, Italy, June 4-6, 2022.

D. Note

Moderate alcohol drinking is good for health long life. But this page makes no suggestions. For that, please see your doctor.