Friday, January 02, 2009

Health Tip: When Older Adults Drink

(HealthDay News) -- That alcoholic drink that you've been drinking each day for years could have a greater effect on your body and mind as you age, the Cleveland Clinic notes.

In general, the elderly should be especially careful to watch how much alcohol they drink. The clinic offers the following pitfalls of elderly drinking:

Alcohol affects coordination and balance, and could increase an older person's risk of falling.

  • Alcohol could minimize pain that signals an injury or health problem.
  • Alcohol can affect the blood vessels and heart, which could mask the symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Alcohol could be dangerous if combined with certain medications, including cold medicines and pain relievers.
  • Alcohol could aggravate health conditions that are common in the elderly, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Alcohol could cause a person to act confused or forgetful, which could be mistaken for symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

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