7 january 2020

Alcohol consumption and cognitive function in elderly Japanese men

Although heavy alcohol consumption has been identified as a risk factor for adverse cognitive functioning, it currently remains unclear whether moderate alcohol consumption exerts similar effects. Observational studiesLike intervention studies observational studies attempt to understand cause-and-effect relationships... previously reported the potential benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on cognition, particularly in the elderly; however, these effects have not yet been demonstrated in Asian populations.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption levels and global and domain-specific cognitive functions in cognitively intact elderly Japanese men. Cross-sectional data from the Shiga Epidemiological Study of Subclinical Atherosclerosis (SESSA), an ongoing prospective, population-based study in Shiga, Japan, were used to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognitive function. Men (n = 585) aged >/=65 years provided information on their weekly consumption of alcohol, and the data obtained were used to construct categories of never, ex- (quit before interview), very light (23-46 g/day), and heavy (>46 g/day) drinkers.

Cognitive function was measured using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI). A fractional logistic regression model adjusted for age, education, body mass index, smoking, exercise, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia showed that the CASI scores for global and domain-specific cognitive functions were not significantly different between all subgroups of current drinkers and never-drinkers.

However, the CASI score of ex-drinkers (multivariable adjusted mean CASI score [SD]) was significantly lower than that of never-drinkers in the global [never vs. ex: 90.16 (2.21) vs. 88.26 (2.58)] and abstraction and judgment domain [never vs. ex: 9.48 (0.46) vs. 8.61 (0.57)]).

The present results do not suggest any beneficial or adverse relationship between current alcohol consumption levels and cognitive functioning (both global and domain specific) in elderly Japanese men; however, low cognitive function among ex-drinkers warrants future investigations to identify the factors causing drinkers to quit.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Siddiquee A. T.; Kadota A.; Fujiyoshi A.; Miyagawa N.; Saito Y.; Suzuki H.; Kondo K.; Yamauchi H.; Ito T.; Segawa H.; Tooyama I.; Miura K.; Ueshima H.; Sessa Research Group
  • Issue

    Alcohol. 2020 Jan 7;85:145-152
  • Published Date

    7 january 2020