Latest scientific news 11 August 2017

Moderate drinkers more likely to get old without cognitive impairments

The results of the current study suggest that individuals who drank moderately on a near-daily basis were more likely to live to age 85 without cognitive impairment than those who drank less frequently or did not drink alcoholic beverages at all.

US researchers examined the link between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and cognitively healthy longevity (CHL). The alcohol consumption of 1,344 older community-dwelling adults was assessed by questionnaires and cognitive function in approximate four-year intervals using a standard dementia screening test known as the Mini Mental State Examination was carried out in the 14-year follow-up period. The results showed that adults who drank moderately (*) on a regular basis were more likely to live to the age of 85 years old without dementia or other cognitive impairments than non-drinkers. The authors also commented that the results do not suggest that drinking is responsible for increased longevity and cognitive health but that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in aging.

(*) Moderate drinking was defined as:

Up to 1 standard drink/day for men age 65 and older and women

Up to 2 standard drinks for men under 65

1 standard drink corresponds to 12 g of ethanol

Richard EL; Kritz Silverstein D; Laughlin GA; Fung TT; Barrett Connor E; McEvoy LK, ‘Alcohol intake and cognitively healthy longevity in community-dwelling adults: the Rancho Bernardo Study’, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Vol 59, No 3, 2017, pp803-814

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