Alcohol and Medication Use Among Elderly Community-dwelling Brazilians

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Journal of Gerontology

DOI of Published Version




Alcohol consumption among the elderly remains understudied, but alcohol interaction with the great amount of medicines taken by this age group could be a serious health problem. The aim of this study was to evaluate alcohol consumption and medicines used by an elderly sample from Pindamonhangaba, Brazil.


In a cross-sectional study, a representative sample of 123 elderly individuals (61.0% women) was interviewed by using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to verify alcohol consumption. The medicines used by the sample were also surveyed.


It was noted that the vast majority of respondents was classified as “low-risk consumption” (99.2%), followed by “harmful consumption”(0.8%). Alcohol dependency was not found. The average number of medicines used was 2.5 (± 1.3) medications/day. Regarding the distribution of medicines used by the elderly in this sample, the most used was captopril (33.3%), followed by acetylsalicylic acid (AAS) and hydrochlorothiazide (17.1%), and metformin (10.6%). With regard to the pharmacological class of medications used, the most used were antihypertensives (50.4%), diuretics (20.3%), and antidiabetic agents (13.8%). Only 13% of used medicines were considered inappropriate to the elderly, by Beers-Fick criteria.


Harmful consumption of alcohol in the evaluated sample was very low. The average of used medicines (2.5 medicines/day) was similar to those obtained previously in elderly populations in the same region, with relatively low use of inappropriate drugs for the elderly.


adverse drug reactions, alcohol, AUDIT, elderly, medicines

Granting or Sponsoring Agency

University of Taubaté

Grant Number

PIC 109/10

Published Article/Book Citation

International Journal of Gerontology, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, Sept. 2014, Pages 133–136 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijge.2013.08.009


Copyright © 2014, Taiwan Society of Geriatric Emergency & Critical Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.