Dementia Risk Drops with Moderate Drinking

by Lois Etienne on March 28, 2011

in Alzheimer's and Dementia

Is drinking a few glasses of wine a week good or bad for us?

A doctor is always the definitive answer on subjects such as this.  But here’s news that should make you happy.  Earlier research had shown that moderate drinking of alcohol, particularly wine, can reduce dementia among middle-aged adults.  A new study says the same is true for senior citizens. The moderate drinkers in this study – all age 75 or older – saw their dementia risk drop by 37 percent over six years.

Kaycee Sink, MD, MAS, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues sought to determine the relationship between alcohol intake and incident dementia in 3,069 community-living adults aged 75 years and older without dementia.

After adjustment for demographics, smoking, co-morbidities, depression, social activity, and baseline cognition, moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks per day) was associated with a 37 percent lower risk of dementia in participants with normal cognition at baseline, but not in those with mild cognitive impairment.

“Our findings suggest mild to moderate alcohol intake may reduce the risk of dementia,” Sink said.  “However, this does not appear to be true for those who already have mild cognitive impairment. Current recommendations not to exceed one drink per day for women and two for men are supported by these results.”

Experts also warn seniors not to make alcohol a substitute for companionship.  If you are an active and healthy senior make sure your days are full of activities and volunteerism.

For more information about Home Instead Senior Care contact your local office.

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