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January 27, 1997

Alcoholism in the Elderly

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(2):242-243. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440230122018

The article by Fink et al1 was very useful in helping the clinician to identify essential components of well-written articles published in the literature on alcohol-related problems in the elderly. These authors searched the literature for articles that analyzed determinants or consequences of alcohol use in the elderly and for articles on screening instruments for detecting alcohol abuse in aging populations.

Articles that provided data on the effectiveness of 1 or more screening instruments that are used to detect alcohol-related problems in individuals aged 65 years or older and that were listed on MEDLINE between 1966 and May 1995 were eligible for further analysis by these investigators. However, one article that is worthy of mention was published in April 1995 and would not have been abstracted on MEDLINE during the study period. Joseph et al2 performed a cross-sectional analysis of patients aged 50 years or older who were