Alcohol consumption limits should be lowered for over 65s, say psychiatristsBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3950 (Published 21 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3950
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The Royal College of Psychiatrists now advise that the Government
guidelines on the safe limits for drinking alcohol should be lowered for
people over 65 to 1.5 units daily for men or 1 unit daily for women(1).
One unit of alcohol amounts to 1/2 pint (275 ml) of a weak beer
containing 3.8% alcohol or 1/4 glass (68 ml) of 13% wine! Many would
consider these limits to be too strict for healthy people. I am 75 and
fit and do not take any drugs except alcohol.
After my wife commented that I was drinking too much, because the
alcohol had increased the number of red blood vessels on my face, I
reduced my intake to less than 90 units per month or less than an average
of 3 units daily, for the last 8 months. I drink no alcohol at least 10
days per month. On drinking days, I share a bottle of wine with my wife =
4.9 units for 13% wine or drink 1-2 bottles of beer (1.7-5.0 units in
Scotford Lawrence is very creative and active in his retirement and
drinks several glasses of wine with dinner each night(2).
I suggest the British Government changes to my guidelines of not more
than 90 units alcohol per month with not more than 5 units alcohol on any
day and with at least 10 days in the month with no alcohol. People who
are unwell with such diseases as hypertension and obesity or who are on
drugs which react badly with alcohol, should not drink alcohol at all.
1. Wise J. Alcohol consumption should be lowered for Over 65's. BMJ
2. Lawrence S. Enjoying a drink in the busy years of old age. Daily
Telegraph 25 June 2011.
Competing interests: No competing interests