Table 2

Demographic features of patients aged 65 and over drinking alcohol

Older drinkersUnsafe drinkers
Mean (SD) age73.7 (7.1)72.1 (6.3)
Sex60% Male65.1% Male
40% Female34.9% Female
Ethnicity67.9% white79.8% white
6.2% Irish8.2% Irish
13.3% Caribbean6.5% Caribbean
4.% African1% African
3.7% Asian2.5% Asian
  • The median volume of alcohol consumed by the older drinkers was 6 units per week (figure 1). For males, the highest 5th centile were drinking ≥50 units per week and for females, ≥23 U per week. Altogether, 1980 (21.4%) of the older drinkers exceeded recommended (safe) limits.