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What is the difference between early onset and late onset alcohol use?

Early onset and late onset alcohol use are different types of excessive alcohol use in the elderly. Those who have been using alcohol at levels above the recommended limits for many years and reached age 65 are called "hardy survivors" and belong to the early onset group; those who begin abusing alcohol later in life belong to the late onset group.

This distinction is particularly important in women since those who have early onset are at higher risk for alcohol-related health issues. Both groups are at increased risk for injury however, especially falls, and for depression, suicide and malnutrition.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.