The correlates of substance use among older adults in Ghana during the COVID-19 pandemic

Prince PEPRAH, Francis ARTHUR-HOLMES, Williams AGYEMANG-DUAH, Shadrack O. FRIMPONG, Akwasi A. GYIMAH, Faustina KOVOR

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that substance use remains one of the negative consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic among older adults. However, not much is known about the prevalence and associated factors of substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.

Using data from a survey on coronavirus-related health literacy conducted in the Ashanti Region of Ghana among 474 older adults aged 50 years or above, we performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to assess demographic, socio-economic and health-related correlates of alcohol and tobacco use.

We recorded a prevalence of 11.4% alcohol use and 6.8% of tobacco smoking, in addition to 16% prevalence of tobacco smoking and/or alcohol intake during the pandemic. After adjusting for the demographic and socio-economic factors, male participants had higher odds of substance use than their female counterparts. Older adults with tertiary education and those who rated their wealth status as poor had a lower odds of substance use than their counterparts.

Our findings have implications for designing programs and policies to limit substance use among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future disease outbreaks.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022001
JournalJournal of Global Health Reports
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, International Society of Global Health. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • substance use
  • Ghana
  • older adults


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