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Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

dementia and cognitive decline have been linked to cardiovascular risk. Alcohol has known negative effects in large quantities but may be protective for the cardiovascular system in smaller amounts. Effect of alcohol intake may be greater in the elderly and may impact on cognition.

METHODS

to evaluate the evidence for any relationship between incident cognitive decline or dementia in the elderly and alcohol consumption, a systematic review and meta-analyses were carried out. Criteria for inclusion were longitudinal studies of subjects aged >or=65, with primary outcomes of incident dementia/cognitive decline.

RESULTS

23 studies were identified (20 epidemiological cohort, three retrospective matched case-control nested in a cohort). Meta-analyses suggest that small amounts of alcohol may be protective against dementia (random effects model, risk ratio [RR] 0.63; 95% CI 0.53-0.75) and Alzheimer's disease (RR 0.57; 0.44-0.74) but not for vascular dementia (RR 0.82; 0.50-1.35) or cognitive decline (RR 0.89; 0.67-1.17) However, studies varied, with differing lengths of follow up, measurement of alcohol intake, inclusion of true abstainers and assessment of potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS

because of the heterogeneity in the data these findings should be interpreted with caution. However, there is some evidence to suggest that limited alcohol intake in earlier adult life may be protective against incident dementia later.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Imperial College, London, UK. r.peters@imperial.ac.uk

    , , ,

    Source

    Age and ageing 37:5 2008 Sep pg 505-12

    MeSH

    Adult
    Age Factors
    Aged
    Aging
    Alcohol Drinking
    Cognition
    Cognition Disorders
    Dementia
    Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
    Evidence-Based Medicine
    Female
    Humans
    Incidence
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Odds Ratio
    Risk Assessment

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Meta-Analysis
    Review
    Systematic Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18487267

    Citation

    Peters, Ruth, et al. "Alcohol, Dementia and Cognitive Decline in the Elderly: a Systematic Review." Age and Ageing, vol. 37, no. 5, 2008, pp. 505-12.
    Peters R, Peters J, Warner J, et al. Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review. Age Ageing. 2008;37(5):505-12.
    Peters, R., Peters, J., Warner, J., Beckett, N., & Bulpitt, C. (2008). Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review. Age and Ageing, 37(5), pp. 505-12. doi:10.1093/ageing/afn095.
    Peters R, et al. Alcohol, Dementia and Cognitive Decline in the Elderly: a Systematic Review. Age Ageing. 2008;37(5):505-12. PubMed PMID: 18487267.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review. AU - Peters,Ruth, AU - Peters,Jean, AU - Warner,James, AU - Beckett,Nigel, AU - Bulpitt,Christopher, Y1 - 2008/05/16/ PY - 2008/5/20/pubmed PY - 2008/10/17/medline PY - 2008/5/20/entrez SP - 505 EP - 12 JF - Age and ageing JO - Age Ageing VL - 37 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: dementia and cognitive decline have been linked to cardiovascular risk. Alcohol has known negative effects in large quantities but may be protective for the cardiovascular system in smaller amounts. Effect of alcohol intake may be greater in the elderly and may impact on cognition. METHODS: to evaluate the evidence for any relationship between incident cognitive decline or dementia in the elderly and alcohol consumption, a systematic review and meta-analyses were carried out. Criteria for inclusion were longitudinal studies of subjects aged >or=65, with primary outcomes of incident dementia/cognitive decline. RESULTS: 23 studies were identified (20 epidemiological cohort, three retrospective matched case-control nested in a cohort). Meta-analyses suggest that small amounts of alcohol may be protective against dementia (random effects model, risk ratio [RR] 0.63; 95% CI 0.53-0.75) and Alzheimer's disease (RR 0.57; 0.44-0.74) but not for vascular dementia (RR 0.82; 0.50-1.35) or cognitive decline (RR 0.89; 0.67-1.17) However, studies varied, with differing lengths of follow up, measurement of alcohol intake, inclusion of true abstainers and assessment of potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: because of the heterogeneity in the data these findings should be interpreted with caution. However, there is some evidence to suggest that limited alcohol intake in earlier adult life may be protective against incident dementia later. SN - 1468-2834 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18487267/Alcohol_dementia_and_cognitive_decline_in_the_elderly:_a_systematic_review_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ageing/afn095 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -