Babe Ruth was known as the "Sultan of Swat" for his outstanding play on the baseball field. In 1924 he led the league with a .378 batting average and 46 home runs! But his off-field drinking turned him into the Baron of Binge, and in 1925 it caused him to miss part of spring training and 56 games.
A study found that binge drinking - downing five or more drinks at a time (guys) or four or more (gals) - isn't confined to superstars. Seems 10% of Americans 65-plus are bingeing. The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at the habits of 10,927 seniors and found that such marathon drinking sessions are a growing problem. What's more, bingers are frequently combining alcohol with cannabis.
Risky business: When older folks take a hit of alcohol (plus pot) they're more likely to fall and break bones. (Binge-drinking elders end up in the emergency room more often than non-bingeing peers.) In addition, the research found the most common chronic diseases among older binge drinkers were high blood pressure (41.4%), cardiovascular disease (23.1%) and diabetes (17.7%), and that alcohol can make it hard to manage those conditions. Plus, when it mixes with meds for those disorders - yikes!
So if you or someone you know are binge drinking, ask yourself: Is it to overcome social anxiety? Because of alcohol dependence? To manage chronic pain? Look for support groups that can help you find healthier solutions, and swat that problem out of your park.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.