The Consumption of Alcohol and Tobacco in Old Age
Photo: Pixabay

The increase in certain diseases in old age and that we would be in some way the result of bad habits, so to speak (smoking, drinking, eating badly or being sedentary, for example).

Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for various chronic diseases, highlighting cancer, but also lung and cardiovascular diseases. Another of the great problems that humanity faces today is the consumption of alcohol.

Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global burden of disease.

The consumption of alcohol and tobacco in Spain, as in other countries, is very social. The “public” consideration of substance use greatly influences how it is used.

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Analyzing the habits regarding alcohol consumption of 65% of years, the statistic indicates that a quarter of these drinks daily or almost daily, compared to 22.4% who have stopped drinking alcohol in the last 2 years. 8.4% drink once a month and 26.5% never drink.

About smoking, the WHO calls smoking an epidemic and considers it one of the greatest threats to public health that the world has had to face.

He also notes that tobacco kills half of its consumers. Specifically, every 8 years more than 8 million people die from tobacco, either from direct consumption (more than 7 million) or as a consequence of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke (1.2 million).

In Spain, the ENS indicates that 22.1% of the population aged 15 and over smokes daily, 2.3 smokes occasionally (yes, this is also bad), 24.9 are declared ex-smokers and 50.7% have never smoked. In recent years tobacco consumption has indeed decreased, but it has also decreased more and more slowly.

The proportion of daily smokers is 22.08% higher in men (25.58%) than in women (18.76%). Among people over 65 the numbers are very different: 8.8 smokers compared to 30.9% who have quit smoking and 60.1% who have never smoked.

The age at which you started smoking is important. Of the older people who smoke daily, most started before age 18. In fact, at 17, 50.2% of those who continue to smoke beyond 65% had already started smoking, and 10.3% of smokers preferred cigars. Again, socialization. As curiosity in a pipe smokes less than 1%.

Aging and alcohol

The way the body handles alcohol can change with age. You can have the same drinking habits, but the body has changed.

Alcohol can act differently in older people than in younger people. Some older people may feel “drugged or euphoric” without increasing the quality of alcohol they drink.

That feeling can make them more likely to have accidents, including falls, fractures, and car accidents. Also, older women are more sensitive than men to the effects of alcohol.

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The spread overtime of the bad habit of drinking a lot of alcohol can:

  • Lead to some types of cancer, liver damage, immune system disorders, and brain damage.
  • Worsen some health conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, memory loss, and mood disorders.
  • Difficult for doctors to identify and treat some medical problems. for example, alcohol causes changes in the heart and blood vessels. These changes can dull the pain that could be a warning sign of a heart attack.

There is no doubt about the great damage that the consumption of alcohol and tobacco causes to our body and its negative effect becomes stronger as the years of old age become present.