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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Age-related changes in physiological, metabolic and medication profiles make alcohol consumption likely to be more harmful among older than younger adults. This study aimed to estimate cross-national variation in the quantity and patterns of drinking throughout older age, and to investigate country-level variables explaining cross-national variation in consumption for individuals aged 50 years and older. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study using previously harmonized survey data. SETTING: Twenty-two countries surveyed in 2010 or the closest available year. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 106 180 adults aged 50 years and over. MEASUREMENTS: Cross-national variation in age trends were estimated for two outcomes: weekly number of standard drink units (SDUs) and patterns of alcohol consumption (never, ever, occasional, moderate and heavy drinking). Human Development Index and average prices of vodka were used as country-level variables moderating age-related declines in drinking. FINDINGS: Alcohol consumption was negatively associated with age (risk ratio = 0.98; 95% confidence interval = 0.97, 0.99; P-value 

Original publication






Publication Date





1399 - 1412


Aging, alcohol, cross-cultural, development, drink, global, mixed model, multi-level, old age, price, Activities of Daily Living, Age Factors, Aged, Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholic Beverages, Alcoholic Intoxication, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged