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Physiological Changes

The older years are a time of physiological change, and many of these changes affect alcohol metabolism. Some of these include:

  • slowdown of metabolism - alcohol stays in the body for a longer period of time
  • decrease in body mass - less muscle
  • lower body content - causes increased blood alcohol concentration
  • decrease in the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase
  • decreased tolerance for alcohol
  • slowdown in reaction time
  • increase in body fat

Alcohol can impact the health status of those seniors who have a chronic disease that is exacerbated by the use of alcohol. Such diseases include, among others:

  • diabetes
  • heart problems
  • osteoporosis
  • sleep disorders
  • liver disorders
  • pancreatitis
  • malnutrition
  • ulcers
  • cancer
  • depression