Latest scientific news 28 February 2017

Light drinking can lower risk of dementia

Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (<12.5 g/day) is associated with a reduced risk of dementia while heavy drinking (> 23 drinks/week or >38 g/d) would significantly elevate the risk.

Chinese neurologists investigated the potential dose-response association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the risk of dementia with a meta-analysis. It included eleven studies with 73,330 participants and 4586 cases for all-cause dementia (ACD), five studies with 52,715 participants and 1267 cases for Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and four studies with 49,535 participants and 542 cases for vascular dementia. They observed a nonlinear association between the intake of alcoholic beverages and ACD risk. The lowest risk was observed at approximately 6 g of alcohol/day and the dose associated with lower risk of dementia was confined to a maximum of 12.5 g/day, above 38 g/day the risk increased. A subgroup analysis further indicated that the effect of alcohol may be greater in younger adults (<60 years old).

Xu W, Wang H, Wan Y, et al. Alcohol consumption and dementia risk: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 17. doi: 10.1007/s10654-017-0225-3. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.