Unhealthy Drinking Patterns and Receipt of Preventive Medical Services by Older Adults
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Preventive service use among older adults is suboptimal. Unhealthy drinking may constitute a risk factor for failure to receive these services.
To determine the relationship between unhealthy drinking and receipt of recommended preventive services among elderly Medicare beneficiaries, applying the framework of current alcohol consumption guidelines.
The data source is the nationally representative 2003 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The sample included community-dwelling, fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older (N = 10,523). Based on self-reported drinking, respondents were categorized as nondrinkers, within-guidelines drinkers, exceeding monthly but not daily limits, or heavy episodic drinkers. Using survey and claims data, influenza vaccination, pneumonia vaccination, glaucoma screening, and mammogram receipt were determined. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted.
Overall, 70.3% received flu vaccination and 49% received glaucoma screening during the year, 66.8% received pneumonia vaccination, and 56.2% of women received a mammogram over 2 years. In logistic regression, heavy episodic drinking was associated with lower likelihood of service receipt compared to drinking within guidelines: flu vaccination (OR 0.75, CI 0.59–0.96), glaucoma screening (OR 0.74, CI 0.58–0.95), and pneumonia vaccination (OR 0.75, CI 0.59–0.96). Nondrinkers when compared with those reporting drinking within guidelines were less likely to receive a mammogram (OR 0.83, CI 0.69–1.00).
Heavy episodic drinking is associated with lower likelihood of receiving several preventive services. Practitioners should be encouraged to screen all elders regarding alcohol intake and in addition to appropriate intervention, consider elders reporting heavy episodic drinking at higher risk for non-receipt of preventive services.
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- Unhealthy Drinking Patterns and Receipt of Preventive Medical Services by Older Adults
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 23, Issue 11 , pp 1741-1748
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- unhealthy drinking
- Medicare beneficiaries
- preventive services
- older adults
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Institute for Behavioral Health, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Mail stop 035, 415 South St., Waltham, MA, 02454, USA
- 2. Boston University School of Medicine, Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
- 3. Youth Alcohol Prevention Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
- 4. Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
- 5. Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 6. Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development, Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA