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Older people should not drink alcohol

Published:  23 July, 2008

Older people should have guidelines to help them protect their health, experts have said.

Mary Gilhooly, director of Brunel Institute of Ageing Studies, part of Brunel University, said current drinking levels were set to high for the baby boomer generation, now entering their sixties.

She fears the generation is likely to drink more alcohol in old age because that is what they have always done.

Gilhooly said many older people should be advised not to drink at all. "Middle aged and older people need to be aware of the impact of ageing on alcohol metabolism. They need to reduce alcohol consumption levels with age," she said.

The director is calling for further research into what the guidelines for older people should be.

The Food Standards Agency recommends no more than three to four units of alcohol per day for men and no more than two or three units for women.

One unit is half a pint of standard strength (3-5%), beer, lager or cider or a pub measure of a spirit. A glass of wine is about two units.