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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 230-234

Alcoholism amongst geriatric patients attending general practice clinic of a Teaching Hospital in Benin City, Nigeria

1 Department of Mental Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mary Ehimigbai
Department of Mental Health, University of Benin, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_83_19

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Context: Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is common among the elderly, though under-recognised and underreported. This under-reporting is especially so in Africa, including Nigeria where there is near absence of study on the subject matter. Aims: This study aims to determine the prevalence of alcoholism amongst geriatric patients at the general practice clinic (GPC) of a teaching hospital and to assess some associated socio-demographic factors. Materials and Methods: The study was cross-sectional and descriptive, conducted at the GPC of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Four hundred and twenty-two geriatric outpatients completed the geriatric version of the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test and a socio-demographic data collection sheet. Cross-tabulation of categorical variables was performed by means of IBM SPSS statistics for windows version 19.0, with the level of significance set at P <0.05. Results: The prevalence of AUD was 10.2%; the prevalence amongst males and females was 18.1% and 5.3%, respectively. AUD was present in 14.4%, 6.84% and 4.55% of those who had marital conflict, chronic pain and difficulty with walking, respectively. Sex, age group, financial difficulty, chronic pain and difficulty with walking were significantly associated with AUD. Conclusions: The prevalence of AUD amongst geriatric patients is relatively high. The deleterious effects of alcoholism may be worse in the elderly due to changes that occur with aging and their likelihood to be on medications that may interact adversely with alcohol.

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