Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Disability Among the Near Elderly: A Longitudinal Analysis

TitleEffects of Alcohol Consumption on Disability Among the Near Elderly: A Longitudinal Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsOstermann, J, Sloan, FA
JournalThe Milbank Quarterly
Call Numberpubs_2001_Ostermann_JMiliQuart.pdf
KeywordsDisabilities, Health Conditions and Status, Net Worth and Assets, Social Security

In this study the 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998 waves of the Health and Retirement Study were used as a way to ascertain the validity of government policy changes in transfer benefits based on alcohol consumption and disability. Are heavy drinkers more likely than abstainers or moderate drinkers to be disabled and receiving transfers from SSDI or SSI? (cross-sectional analysis). How have the 1996 policy revisions changed the amount of government transfers given to the disabled who consume alcohol and the ease in receiving such receipts? (longitudinal analysis). The authors discuss many ways in which alcohol use may effect a persons body and ability to complete tasks, as well as, some ways in which preferences toward alcohol consumption can affect ones economic and financial decisions. At wave 4 in 1998 they find there is a strong correlation between rates of disability and the drinking behavior/history of drinking problems reported in Wave 1 of 1992. However, moderate drinkers were the least likely to be disabled in 1998 and the abstainers were the most likely. At the same time though, those that reported being heavy drinkers, had the most limitations on their abilities and were the most likely to be receiving SSDI or SSI transfers. The odds of death between two years (time interval between waves) was insignificant, but those who drank heavily reported more limitations at each subsequent wave. The change in policy had practically no effect on number of people collecting SSDI/SSI. Heavy and problem drinkers were less numerous among those receiving SSDI/SSI after the policy changes, but the data in this study were unable to pinpoint the specific reasons for this outcome.

Endnote Keywords

Health Behaviors/Health Status/Economic Status/Alcohol Drinking/Supplemental Security Income/Disability/Disability

Endnote ID


Citation Key6767