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Research suggests alcohol consumption helps stave off dementia
Date:3/2/2011

o had died in the interim. Since dementia is associated with a higher mortality rate, proxy information is particularly important in order to avoid underestimation of incident dementia cases.

At baseline there were 3,202 persons without dementia. Alcohol consumption information was available for 3,180 subjects:

  • 50.0% were abstinent
  • 24.8% consumed less than one drink (10 grams of alcohol) per day
  • 12.8% consumed 10-19 grams of alcohol per day
  • 12.4% consumed 20 or more grams per day
  • A small subgroup of 25 participants fulfilled the criteria of harmful drinking (>60 grams of alcohol per day for men, respectively >40 grams for women)
  • One man (>120 grams of alcohol per day) and one woman (>80 grams of alcohol per day) reported an extremely high consumption of alcohol
  • Among the consumers of alcohol almost half (48.6%) drank wine only
  • 29.0% drank beer only
  • 22.4% drank mixed alcohol beverages (wine, beer, or spirits)

Alcohol consumption was significantly associated with male gender, younger age, higher level of education, not living alone, and not being depressed.

The calculation of incident cases of dementia is based on 3,202 subjects who had no dementia at baseline. Within the follow-up period of three years:

  • 217 cases of dementia (6.8%) were diagnosed, whereby 111 subjects (3.5%) suffered from Alzheimer dementia. Due to the relatively small numbers, other subgroups of dementia (vascular dementia: n=42; other specific dementia, e.g. dementia in Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, alcohol dementia: n=14; dementia with unknown aetiology: n=50) were not considered in the following analyses.

Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a lower incidence of overall dementia and Alzheimer dementia. In line with a large-scale study also based on GP attenders aged 75 years and older, the study found th
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Contact: Christian Purdy
christian.purdy@oup.com
212-726-6032
Oxford University Press
Source:Eurekalert

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