Age 60 means an average of 42 units for older alcoholics, when knocking back far more booze than the younger ones.
The research, led by Linda Ginzer of Ohio State University and carried out in late November by the Gerontology Society of America, examined data from 43,000 people between 2000 and 2001, of whom 10,000 were over 60.
"What I found is that older alcoholics drink more than younger ones. I don't know why that is; my assumption is that it's probably tolerance," Ginzer told AFP, inferring they need more alcohol to get drunk.
Alcoholics over 60 tend to drink an average of 42.5 drink units weekly compared to those aged 22-39 who down about 28 a week.
The study used a standard formula that defines one drink as five ounces of wine (0.14 liter), 12 ounces of beer (0.34 liters) or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
It also found that three times more men than women were alcoholics or had a dependence on alcohol.