Drinking Alcohol Reduces Dementia Risk
Researchers in Germany examined the relationship between drinking alcohol and the risk of dementia in 3,202 people 75 years of age and older. Subjects were clinically interviewed at baseline, at 1.5 years, and at 3 years. At each of the three time periods, they were assessed for the quantity, frequency, and form (beer, wine, or distiled spirits) of alcohol they consumed, and were also evaluated for dementia using DSM-IV criteria.
The resulting data were controlled or adjusted for age, gender, education, functional impairment, tobacco smoking, and many other factors. The researchers found that
- those who consumed alcohol in moderation had about a 30% reduced risk of developing dementia and about a 40% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia or disease compared to abstainers or non-drinkers and
- there were no significant differences between the beneficial effects conferred by beer, wine, and distilled spirits
The finding that drinking alcohol in moderation is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia (including Alzheimer's disease), is consistent with research among younger people.
The finding that there were no significant differences between the beneficial effects conferred by beer, wine, and distilled spirits is also consistent with earlier research.
- Weyerer, S., et al. Current alcohol consumption and its relationship to incident dementia results from a 3-year follow-up study among primary care attenders aged 75 years and older. Age and Ageing, 2011, 40(5), 633-637.
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