Alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking among community-dwelling older Australian men: the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project

Jenni Ilomaki, Danijela Gnjidic, David Le Couteur, J Simon Bell, Fiona M Blyth, David J Handelsman, Robert G Cumming, Markus J Seibel, Louise M Waite, Vasi Naganathan, Sarah N Hilmer

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Aim: To describe the prevalence and correlates of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking among older Australian men.

Method: Self-reported alcohol and tobacco use was assessed among a random sample of community-dwelling men aged ≥70 years living in Sydney (n = 1705) from 2005 to 2007. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with alcohol and tobacco use.

Results: The prevalence of heavy/excessive drinking was 19.2%, daily drinking 33.7%, and binge drinking 14.1%. Daily drinking was associated with chronic pain (OR= 1.38, 95% CI: 1.07-1.78). Binge drinking was associated with anxiety (OR= 1.93, 95% CI: 1.05-3.54) and being widowed (OR= 1.74, 95% CI: 1.11-2.73). Six per cent of men were current smokers and 56.7% were former smokers. Former smoking was associated with polypharmacy (OR= 1.47, 95% CI: 1.14-1.91) and each additional comorbid condition (OR= 1.11, 95% CI: 1.03-1.19).

Conclusions: Nearly one-fifth of older men drank heavily or excessively. This highlights the need for public health initiatives to reduce alcohol consumption in older people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • aged
  • alcohol drinking
  • binge drinking
  • men
  • smoking

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