Q: As People Get Older, Does Alcohol Affect Their Bodies Differently?
Yes. As a person ages, certain mental and physical functions tend to
decline, including vision, hearing, and reaction time. Moreover,
other physical changes associated with aging can make older people feel "high"
after drinking fairly small amounts of alcohol. These
combined factors make older people more likely to have alcohol-related falls,
automobile crashes, and other kinds of accidents.
In addition, older people tend to take more medicines than younger
persons, and mixing alcohol with many over-the-counter and prescription
drugs can be dangerous, even fatal.
Further, many medical conditions common to older people, including high blood
pressure and ulcers, can be worsened by drinking.
Even if there is no medical reason to avoid alcohol, older men and women should
limit their intake to one drink per day.
(See also Aging and Alcohol Abuse )
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