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Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline: meta-analysis of prospective studies.

Abstract

The relationships between alcohol consumption and dementia and cognitive decline were investigated in a systematic review including meta-analyses of 15 prospective studies. Follow-ups ranged from 2 to 8 years. Meta-analyses were conducted on samples including 14,646 participants evaluated for Alzheimer disease (AD), 10,225 participants evaluated for vascular dementia (VaD), and 11,875 followed for any type of dementia (Any dementia). The pooled relative risks (RRs) of AD, VaD, and Any dementia for light to moderate drinkers compared with nondrinkers were 0.72 (95% CI = 0.61-0.86), 0.75 (95% CI = 0.57-0.98), and 0.74 (95% CI = 0.61-0.91), respectively. When the more generally classified "drinkers," were compared with "nondrinkers," they had a reduced risk of AD (RR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.47-0.94) and Any dementia (RR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.53-0.82) but not cognitive decline. There were not enough data to examine VaD risk among "drinkers." Those classified as heavy drinkers did not have an increased risk of Any dementia compared with nondrinkers, but this may reflect sampling bias. Our results suggest that alcohol drinkers in late life have reduced risk of dementia. It is unclear whether this reflects selection effects in cohort studies commencing in late life, a protective effect of alcohol consumption throughout adulthood, or a specific benefit of alcohol in late life.

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  • Authors

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    MeSH

    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Alcohol Amnestic Disorder
    Alcohol Drinking
    Alcoholism
    Alzheimer Disease
    Cognition Disorders
    Comorbidity
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Dementia
    Dementia, Vascular
    Follow-Up Studies
    Humans
    Risk

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Meta-Analysis
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19546653

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline: meta-analysis of prospective studies. AU - Anstey,Kaarin J, AU - Mack,Holly A, AU - Cherbuin,Nicolas, PY - 2009/6/24/entrez PY - 2009/6/24/pubmed PY - 2009/9/24/medline SP - 542 EP - 55 JF - The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry JO - Am J Geriatr Psychiatry VL - 17 IS - 7 N2 - The relationships between alcohol consumption and dementia and cognitive decline were investigated in a systematic review including meta-analyses of 15 prospective studies. Follow-ups ranged from 2 to 8 years. Meta-analyses were conducted on samples including 14,646 participants evaluated for Alzheimer disease (AD), 10,225 participants evaluated for vascular dementia (VaD), and 11,875 followed for any type of dementia (Any dementia). The pooled relative risks (RRs) of AD, VaD, and Any dementia for light to moderate drinkers compared with nondrinkers were 0.72 (95% CI = 0.61-0.86), 0.75 (95% CI = 0.57-0.98), and 0.74 (95% CI = 0.61-0.91), respectively. When the more generally classified "drinkers," were compared with "nondrinkers," they had a reduced risk of AD (RR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.47-0.94) and Any dementia (RR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.53-0.82) but not cognitive decline. There were not enough data to examine VaD risk among "drinkers." Those classified as heavy drinkers did not have an increased risk of Any dementia compared with nondrinkers, but this may reflect sampling bias. Our results suggest that alcohol drinkers in late life have reduced risk of dementia. It is unclear whether this reflects selection effects in cohort studies commencing in late life, a protective effect of alcohol consumption throughout adulthood, or a specific benefit of alcohol in late life. SN - 1545-7214 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19546653/full_citation L2 - http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/00019442-200907000-00003 ER -