Page last updated: March 2021
Alcohol hangover across the lifespan: impact of sex and age

A study investigated the relationship between age and hangover frequency and severity.
An online survey, generated through Facebook, collected self-report data relating to alcohol consumption from 761 Dutch alcohol consumers aged 18–94 years (61.6% female).
Overall, young individuals consumed more alcohol than older drinkers, and men more than women. Significant interactions between age group and sex were found for both subjective intoxication and hangover severity, indicating that the sex differences in these variables were greatest in the younger age groups but became significantly smaller or absent in the older age groups. Partial correlations, correcting for estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC), revealed significant and negative partial correlations between age and subjective intoxication (r = −0.444), age and hangover severity (r = −0.327) and between age and hangover frequency (r = −0.195), i.e. subjective intoxication, hangover severity and hangover frequency decline with age. With regard to sex differences, the observed correlations with age for the past month heaviest drinking occasion were stronger in men for subjective intoxication, hangover severity and hangover frequency.
Hangover severity declines with age, even after controlling for eBAC or the amount of alcohol consumed. Sex differences were greatest in the younger age groups but became significantly smaller or absent in the older age groups. The relationship between age and hangover severity is strongly mediated by subjective intoxication. Pain sensitivity, lower with aging, might be a mediator, the authors suggest.
Source: Joris C Verster, Noortje R Severeijns, Annabel S M Sips, Hama M Saeed, Sarah Benson, Andrew Scholey, Gillian Bruce, Alcohol Hangover Across the Lifespan: Impact Of Sex and Age, Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2021;, agab027,

doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agab027

All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.
Dec 2020 Dec 2020