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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Baby Boomers in pain: Alcohol and analgesics use in an aging cohort

Martha B. Rider, PhD, MS, CHES, Instructional Technology, Health & Educational Studies, University of Tennessee, P.O. Box 5883, 812 Westridge Circle, Maryville, TN 37803, 865-984-2203, utk4student@yahoo.com

Alcohol is the #1 substance abuse problem in the U.S. Analgesics (pain-relief medications) are one of the most frequently used medications in the U.S. If the large Baby Boomer cohort continues to consume alcohol at higher than expected levels while also taking increasing amounts of analgesics as they age, the resulting health problems could have a substantial impact on future health care needs. Mixing alcohol with analgesics can have serious health consequences and could cause acute liver failure (50% of cases are due to alcohol and analgesics) or other health problems. Data were analyzed from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1,411 Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964). Analysis indicated that 76% of Boomers drink alcohol, with 67% drinking beyond what is considered a moderate level by the CDC and NIAAA, and 19% reporting bingeing (>5 drinks). More than half the respondents had used analgesics daily or almost every day for at least a month (females = 58.7%; males = 40.5%) and 19% of females and 16% of males were currently using analgesics daily. There was a significant association for respondents who reported consuming 12 or more drinks during the past year and who were currently taking analgesics (p = 0.02). An association was found in respondents who experienced persistent pain in the past year and who had binged (5 or more drinks) at least once during the past 12 months with taking RX analgesics (CMH: p = 0.03, df = 1).

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

APHA Student Assembly Late Breaker Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA