Saturday, December 01, 2007

Older adults can hold their liquer just as well as their kids.

Despite US recommendations that elderly people curb their drinking more than young people, an article in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society from January of this year reports that elderly people actually have no more difficulty managing activities of daily living or on cognitive tests when drinking than their younger counterparts.
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Older age is associated with increased sensitivity to alcohol. Because of this,
some nations (e.g., the United States) have lower recommendations for safe
alcohol limits in persons 65 years or older.
pooled analysis using data from HRS and ELSA included 5,759 men and 7,574
women; a longitudinal analysis using HRS data included 2,338 men and 3,698
women; and a longitudinal analysis using ELSA data included 1,152 men and 1,471
women. Over a four-year period, there were no statistically significant
differences in any outcome measures related to a rise in drinking level
There did not appear to be any statistically significant health or mortality
risk increase in older persons consuming greater than one to two drinks of
alcohol per day. The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on disability and
mortality probably occur through cardiovascular risk reduction.
guidelines for older adults need not be overly restrictive
relative to recommendations for younger adults.
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Child safety seats more effective than shoulder belts.

Although common practice, and for many of us common sense, the use of child safety seats had been recently called into question for children 2 to 6 years of age. A recent article in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine reviewed this topic. They found (big surprise) that safety seats do indeed save lives.
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Studies have shown that safety seats are more
effective than lap-shoulder seat belts in reducing the risk of injuries and
death in children. However, one study by researchers at the National Bureau of
Economic Research found that lap-shoulder seat belts were as protective as
child safety seats in children two to six years of age, and that they were
significantly less expensive.
Data were collected from the Crashworthiness Data
System of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from January 1,
1998, to December 31, 2004.
A total of 463 children were included in the
analysis, with 409 children being restrained by child safety seat and 54 by
lap-shoulder seat belts.
Unadjusted injury
probability for children in severe crashes was 46 percent lower in the safety
seat group compared with the lap-shoulder seat belt group.
Child safety seats appear to be more effective
than lap-shoulder seat belts in reducing the risk of nonfatal injuries in
chil-dren two to three years of age.
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