Identifying Risk Factors for Late-Onset (50+) Alcohol Use Disorder and Heavy Drinking: A Systematic Review

Bidragets oversatte titel: Identifikation af risikofaktorer for sent opstået (50+) alkohol brugs forstyrrelse og storforbrug: Et systematisk literaturstudie

Jakob Emiliussen*, Anette Søgaard Nielsen, Kjeld Andersen

*Kontaktforfatter for dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewForskningpeer review

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This systematic review seeks to expand the description and understanding of late-onset AUD and
asks “Which risk factors have been reported for late-onset heavy drinking and AUD?” Method: Using
PRISMA guidelines, a literature review and search was performed on May 19, 2015 using the following
databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and PsychInfo. Nine studies were included in the final review.
Results: The search revealed that only very few studies have been conducted. Hence, the evidence is
limited but suggests that stress, role/identity loss, and friends’approval of drinking are associated with
an increased risk for late-onsetAUDor heavy drinking,whereas retirement, death of a spouse or a close
relative does not increase the risk. Discussion: Inherent differences in measurements and methodologies
precluded a meta-analysis. Therefore, the results presented here are descriptive in nature. Most
studies base their conclusions on a certain preconception of older adults with alcohol problems, which
leads to a rowof circular arguments. The factors that have been measured seem to have changed over
time. Conclusion: There has been a lack of focus on the field of late-onset AUD since the 1970s, which
possibly has led to misrepresentations and preconceptions on the complex nature of late-onset AUD.
There is limited evidence for any specific risk factor for late-onset AUD or heavy drinking. We suggest
the adoption of a qualitative approach to uncover what is intrinsic to late-onset AUD followed by
quantitative studies with more agreement on methods and definitions.
TidsskriftSubstance Use and Misuse
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)1575-1588
StatusUdgivet - 15. okt. 2017


  • Systematic literature review
  • Alcohol
  • Older adults