Alcohol consumption is increasing in many countries, and excessive alcohol consumption is particularly increasing among older adults. Excessive alcohol consumption causes morbidity and mortality, especially among older adults, including an increased risk of depressive episodes. We review the mechanisms through which alcohol consumption may affect depression, and argue that the effects of alcohol consumption on depressive episodes among older adults are understudied.
Excessive alcohol consumption among older adults is a concern not only for physical, but also for mental health. Physician efforts to screen older adults for excessive alcohol use is critical for mental health to remain strong in aging populations.