Baseball great Babe Ruth was known as the “Sultan of Swat” for his outstanding play on the field. In 1924, he led the league with a .378 batting average and 46 home runs.
But his off-field drinking turned him into the Baron of Binge, and in 1925 it caused him to miss part of spring training and 56 games.
A recent study found that binge drinking — downing five or more drinks in a sitting for men, or four or more drinks for women — isn't confined to hall of famers.
It turns out that 10% of Americans over the age of 65 are bingeing. Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society looked at the habits of 10,927 seniors and found that marathon drinking sessions are a growing problem.
What's more, bingers are frequently combining alcohol with cannabis.
When older folks take a hit of alcohol (plus pot), they're more likely to fall and break bones. (Binge-drinking elders end up in the emergency room more often than non-bingeing peers.)
In addition, the research found the most common chronic diseases among older binge drinkers were high blood pressure (41.4%), cardiovascular disease (23.1%), and diabetes (17.7%), and that alcohol can make it hard to manage those conditions.
And when alcohol mixes with medications for those disorders, it can make matters even worse.
So if you or someone you know is binge drinking, ask yourself: Is it to overcome social anxiety? Because of alcohol dependence? To manage chronic pain?
Look for support groups that can help you find healthier solutions, and swat that problem out of your park.