Moderate drinking is not a risk for dementia - new study

Moderate drinking is not a risk for dementia - new study

People who have one or two drinks a day are no more likely to develop cognitive decline or dementia than those who drink only rarely, a new US study shows.


Our findings provide some reassurance that alcohol consumed within recommended limits was not associated with an elevated risk of dementia among older adults with normal cognition,” said to Reuters Manja Koch, lead author of the study and a nutrition researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.


People followed for 6 years


The researchers followed 3,021 adults aged 72 and older for an average of six years.

At the start, most were free of cognitive issues. 473 of them had mild cognitive impairment. By the end of follow-up, 512 people had developed dementia, including 348 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.


For people without any cognitive issues at the start of the study, there wasn’t a meaningful difference in the risk of developing dementia based on how much they drank.

Patients should talk to their physicians about alcohol intake, who can provide individualized risk assessments,” Koch said by email.


Groups by alcohol consumption


For the study, researchers grouped participants by alcohol consumption levels: none; less than one drink a week; one to seven drinks a week; 7.1 to 14 drinks a week; and more than 14 weekly drinks.


Overall, 1,286 people, or about 43%, said they didn’t drink at all. Another 466 individuals, or 15%, said they had less than one drink a week; 689, or 23%, had one to seven drinks weekly. About 9% of the participants said they had between 7.1 and 14 drinks weekly and roughly 10% had more than 14 drinks a week.