Alcohol and older people

Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm, whether in the form of chronic disease or acute harm, has increased amongst Sweden’s older people in recent years. The percentage of the population classified as older has increased and will continue to do so. Prevention of disease and harm, including alcohol-related disease and harm, is, therefore, very important – both for all those at risk and for the health and medical care sector. The report addresses older people’sincreased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol which, in combination with the ageing process, may increase the risk of disease and injuries, even at relatively low consumption levels. It describes the relationship between alcohol and various diseases and problems from which older people may suffer, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer. The report also highlights the significance of lifetime lifestyles for health in old age. The researchers have collated and aggregated facts and figures from international studies in the field and evaluated the scientific strength of the results, and both describe the role of alcohol policy measures, and offer recommendations for guideline alcohol consumption levels for older people.


Alcohol consumption by the older people is often unremarked by the health and medical sector. It is our hope that this report can help increase awareness of this issue, both amongst medical and healthcare personnel, and amongst other interested parties, and that it both provokes interest and stimulates discussion.

Claudia Fahlke,
Director, CERA, University of Gothenburg 

Britt Skogseid,
Chair, Swedish Society of Medicine 

Ami Hommel,
Chair, Swedish Society of Nursing 

Johnny Mostacero,