215026 Cohort differences in long-term patterns of change in alcohol consumption

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:06 AM - 9:24 AM

Benjamin Shaw, PhD , Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, University at Albany, School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Neal Krause, PhD , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Jersey Liang, PhD , Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kelly McGeever , Department of Sociology, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Objectives: This research aimed to estimate patterns of within-person changes in alcohol consumption among cohorts of aging adults, and assess key predictors of individual differences in alcohol use trajectories. Methods: Data came from 3,617 adults who were interviewed up to four times between 1986 and 2002. Multilevel multinomial logit models estimated the odds of abstinence and heavy drinking relative to moderate drinking. Results: The odds of abstinence increased, and the odds of heavy drinking decreased during the study period. Significant cohort variations around these trends were observed, such as current older adults experiencing faster increases in abstinence than younger adults. However, extrapolations from these patterns suggest that current younger adults are more likely to be abstinent, and less likely to be heavy drinkers in late life than current cohorts of older adults. Aging-related drinking trajectories, as well as cohort differences in these patterns, are associated with time-varying health, social, and lifestyle factors. Conclusions: Drinking behavior in our aging population appears to be on a relatively promising course, perhaps reflecting the effectiveness of public health efforts to reduce drinking behavior.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the normative patterns of alcohol use that are predicted among aging adults in the US. Compare aging-related patterns of change in alcohol use between current and future cohorts of older adults.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health who conducts research on health behaviors among aging adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.