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Two small pegs enough for elders: Study

A study has shown that two small drinks a night are enough to make elderly people unsteady on their feet and put them at risk of falls. Alcohol, even at these low concentrations...

health and fitness Updated: Sep 24, 2010 13:49 IST

A study has shown that two small drinks a night are enough to make elderly people unsteady on their feet and put them at risk of falls.



Scientists gave 13 healthy men and women in their early sixties just two single vodka and orange drinks. They discovered they struggled in an obstacle avoidance test while walking, reports express.co.uk.



Researcher Judith Hegeman, of Saint Maartens Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, said: "Obstacles were hit twice as often, response times were delayed and response amplitudes were reduced."



Men drinkingIn the study the volunteers - average age 62 - walked on a treadmill as a thin wooden block moved towards them.

Hegeman said: "We found alcohol levels considered to be safe for driving, seriously hamper the ability to successfully avoid sudden obstacles in the travel path."

"Alcohol, even at these low concentrations, affects brain function and increases fall risk," he added.