15 december 2021

Long-term effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive function in seniors: a cohort study in China

BACKGROUND: In the context of increasing global aging, the long-term effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive function in older adults were analyzed in order to provide rationalized health recommendations to the elderly population.

METHODS: The study used the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) dataset, from which 5354 Chinese seniors aged 65-112 years were selected as the subjects, spanning the years 1998-2018. Data on alcohol, diet, activity, and cognition were collected by questionnaire and cognitive levels were judged by the Mini-Mental State Examination scale (also referenced to the Functional Assessment Staging Test). Data cleaning and preprocessing was implemented by R software. The dynamic Cox model was applied for model construction and data analysis.

RESULTS: The results of the dynamic Cox model suggested that seniors who drank alcohol were at higher risk of cognitive decline compared to those who never drank (HR = 1.291, 95%CI: 1.175-1.419). The risk was similarly exacerbated by perennial drinking habits (i.e., longer drinking years, HR = 1.008, 95%CI: 1.004-1.013). Compared to non-alcoholic beverages, liquor (>/= 38 degrees ), liquor (< 38 degrees ), wine and rice wine all showed negative effects. Whereas, the risk of cognitive decline was relatively lower in seniors who consumed liquors (< 38 degrees ) and rice wine compared to the high-level liquor (HR: 0.672 (0.508, 0.887) and 0.732 (0.559, 0.957), respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption has a negative and long-term effects on cognitive function in seniors. For the elderly, we suggested that alcohol intake should be avoided as much as possible.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Han L.; Jia J.
  • Issue

    BMC Geriatr . 2021 Dec 15;21(1):699
  • Published Date

    15 december 2021