Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6488



Sociodemographic and Socioeconomic Correlates of Alcohol Use among Older Adults in Ghana

Yawson AE, Welbeck J, Agyenim BJ, Mensah G, Minicuci N, Naidoo N, Chatterji S, Kowal P and Biritwum RB

Background : The global older adult population is increasing, however the health and care of this segment of the population has not been accorded optimal attention in Ghana and other low-income countries. This paper describes socio-demographic and socioeconomic correlates of alcohol use as major health risk factors among older adult Ghanaians. Methods: This work was based on the World Health Organization’s multi-country Study on global Ageing and adult health (SAGE), conducted in six countries including Ghana. Wave one of SAGE in Ghana was conducted in 2007-2008 as collaboration among WHO, National Health Research Unit and the University of Ghana Medical School through the Department of Community Health. A sample of 3109 older adults, ≥ 50 years were involved in this analysis. Data was obtained on the patterns and intensity of alcohol use among older adults in Ghana. Results: Heavy drinking (Excessive alcohol use) was more prevalent among the 50-59 year group (3.4%), males (4.2%), rural residents (2.9%), the separated/divorced (4.0%), those with secondary education (or equivalent) completed (8.4%) and higher incomes (3.8%). Regional differences existed in heavy drinking; was most prevalent in the three northern regions, Upper West (97.1%); Upper East (70.1%) and Northern (62.5%). The two most developed and populous regions (Greater Accra and Ashanti) had relatively lower prevalence of heavy drinking (43.4% and 39.9% respectively). Significant socio-demographic correlates of alcohol use were male sex (OR=1.4, CI=1.37-1.52), rural resident (OR=1.3, CI=1.08-1.44), higher education (OR=2.4, CI=1.65-3.61) and lower income (OR=1.6, CI=1.44-1.70). Conclusions: Risk reduction measures including improvement in access to health and social services, implementing the national aging policy with due consideration to demographic, socio-economic, religion, culture and regional disparities will engender health and social benefits to the older adult population in Ghana.