february 2020

Association between alcohol consumption and Alzheimer’s disease: A Mendelian randomization study

INTRODUCTION: Observational studiesLike intervention studies observational studies attempt to understand cause-and-effect relationships... have suggested that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but it is unclear if this association is causal.

METHODS: Two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was used to examine whether alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) scores were causally associated with the risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) or Alzheimer's disease age of onset survival (AAOS). Additionally, gamma-glutamyltransferase levels were included as a positive control.

RESULTS: There was no evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or AUDIT, and LOAD. Alcohol consumption was associated with an earlier AAOS and increased gamma-glutamyltransferase blood concentrations. Alcohol dependence was associated with a delayed AAOS.

DISCUSSION: MR found robust evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption and an earlier AAOS, but not alcohol intake and LOAD risk. The protective effect of alcohol dependence is potentially due to survivor bias.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Andrews S. J.; Goate A.; Anstey K. J.
  • Issue

    Alzheimers Dement. 2020 Feb;16(2):345-353. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2019.09.086. Epub 2020 Jan 4.
  • Published Date

    february 2020