Study links moderate drinking to reduced risk of dementia

A new study has shown that moderate drinking may reduce the risk of dementia in seniors.

From 1984 to 2013, researchers studied more than 1,300 adults. Participants were mostly white with at least some college education, living in a white-collar, middle to upper-middle class suburb in San Diego County, California.

Researchers assessed the participants’ thinking and memory (cognitive) skills every four years.

The study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that among men and women aged 85 and older, those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol five to seven days a week were twice as likely to show no signs of dementia than non-drinkers.

For adult women of any age, moderate drinking was defined as up to one alcoholic beverage a day. For men under 65, it was defined as up to two drinks a day.

Women of any age who drank up to three alcoholic beverages per day, as well men 65 and older who drank up to four, were defined as heavy drinkers.

“This study is unique because we considered men and women’s cognitive health at late age and found that alcohol consumption is not only associated with reduced mortality, but with greater chances of remaining cognitively healthy into older age,” said senior author Linda McEvoy, an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

“It is important to point out that there were very few individuals in our study who drank to excess, so our study does not show how excessive or binge-type drinking may affect longevity and cognitive health in aging.”

With this, the study authors emphasized that they had only found an association, not a cause-and-effect link, between alcohol consumption and a decreased risk of dementia. Alcohol consumption, wine in particular, is associated with higher incomes and education levels, which in turn is associated with lower rates of smoking and mental illness, as well as better access to health care.

The study also did not encourage excessive drinking, which is known to cause alcohol-related dementia.

“This study shows that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in aging,” said study author Erin Richard, a student in a joint doctoral program in public health at San Diego State University and UC San Diego.

“However, it is not a recommendation for everyone to drink. Some people have health problems that are made worse by alcohol, and others cannot limit their drinking to only a glass or two per day. For these people, drinking can have negative consequences.”

Featured image via Pixabay

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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