The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3319.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 1

Abstract #54472

Alcohol use and medical care utilization among older adults

Bentson H. McFarland, MD PhD1, Nathalie Huguet, MA2, Brigid Zani, MA1, Mark S. Kaplan, DrPH2, and Jason T. Newsom, PhD2. (1) Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, 503 245-6550,, (2) School of Community Health, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207

While moderate alcohol use appears to reduce mortality, there are few if any population-wide studies that have examined relationships among alcohol use, health status, and medical care utilization. This study examined 26,723 older adult respondents (56% female, 50% ages 50-64, 39% ages 65-79, 11% ages 80 or over) to the Canadian National Population Health Survey which involved individuals surveyed at baseline in 1994 and every other year thereafter. Alcohol consumption was used as a predictor of self-reported health care utilization while controlling for demographic, socio-economic, and health status factors. Alcohol use was defined as never, former (none in last year), infrequent, moderate (one standard drink per day for women or two for men), or heavy. In a sub-sample of respondents from the province of British Columbia, self-reported health care utilization was validated against electronic medical records. Regression models were estimated with the SUDAAN computer program. The validation study found high correlation between self-reported hospitalization and data from electronic records (kappa = 0.80). Cross-sectional logistic models showed that former drinkers had elevated odds of hospitalization (whether or not chronic conditions were included as predictors). Cross-sectional Poisson and linear regresson models indicated that never drinkers, former drinkers and infrequent drinkers had increased lengths of stay. Longitudinal analyses for a subset of respondents showed little relationship between alcohol ingestion at baseline and subsequent hospital admissions. These data suggest that alcohol consumption does not increase health care utilization.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Aging, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Supported by a research grant from the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation

From Cradle to the Grave: Alcohol Problems across Generations Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA