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The health of older Western Australians: the role of age, gender, geographic location, psychological distress, perceived health, tobacco and alcohol

Celia Wilkinson (Perth, Australia)
Kim Clarke (Perth, Australia)
Ros Sambell (Perth, Australia)
Julie Dare (Perth, Australia)
Stephen Jason Bright (School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 26 February 2021

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021

147

Abstract

Purpose

Rates of drinking- and alcohol-related harms among older adults are increasing in most developed nations. The purpose of this paper was to explore the relationship among at-risk alcohol use, smoking, gender, geographical location, self-reported health and psychological well-being among Western Australians aged 65 years and older.

Design/methodology/approach

A secondary analysis was conducted of a cross-sectional survey that collected data from 7,804 West Australians aged 65 years and older between 2013 and 2015. Participants were categorised according to the following age groups: young-old (aged 65–74 years), older-old (aged 75–84 years) and oldest-old (aged 85+ years).

Findings

Results from a multinomial logistic regression analysis indicated that at-risk drinking decreased with increasing age. Current smokers, males and those males and females who perceived their health to be “excellent” were more likely to report at-risk drinking, as were the oldest-old males who lived in remote communities. Psychological well-being was not a predictor of at-risk drinking

Originality/value

This paper examines drinking behaviour among a diverse population of older Western Australians. The way in which the age groups were segmented is unique, as most studies of older Australian drinking patterns aggregate the older adult population. Some of the authors’ findings support existing literature, whereas the remainder provides unique data about the relationship among at-risk drinking, geographic location and psychological well-being.

Keywords

Citation

Wilkinson, C., Clarke, K., Sambell, R., Dare, J. and Bright, S.J. (2021), "The health of older Western Australians: the role of age, gender, geographic location, psychological distress, perceived health, tobacco and alcohol", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 36-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-12-2020-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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