September 18, 1995
Web posted at: 3:15 p.m. EDT
CHICAGO (CNN) -- The American Medical Association has issued a new set of guidelines for doctors to recognize and treat alcoholism among elderly patients. A report accompanying the guidelines, issued Monday, said the problem is going unnoticed in far too many older Americans.
The AMA estimates alcoholism is misdiagnosed in about 70 percent of cases, and 3 million people over the age of 60 drink too much. It said men are five times more likely than women to be alcoholics. The problem is so widespread, it said, that alcoholism sends as many older people to the hospital as do heart attacks.
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