Association between Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Dementia in Patients Aged 75 and Older
This population-based study in Germany evaluated the association between alcohol consumption, incident overall dementia, and Alzheimer dementia in a sample of 3202 primary-care patients aged ≥75 and free of dementia at baseline. Structured clinical interviews conducted at baseline, 1.5, and 3 years assessed for current quantity, frequency, and type of alcohol consumption and dementia diagnosis per DSM-IV criteria. For the 26% of patients not available for face-to-face follow-up at 3 years (including those who died over the study period), systematic assessments focusing particularly on dementia were obtained from primary-care physicians, relatives, or caregivers. Results were adjusted for sex, age, education, living situation, functional impairment, comorbid conditions, depression, apoE4 status, mild cognitive impairment, and smoking.
- Two-hundred seventeen patients (7%) met criteria for dementia during follow-up.
- Overall, patients who consumed alcohol had an approximately 30% lower risk for dementia (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.71) and an approximately 40% lower risk for developing Alzheimer dementia (adjusted HR, 0.58) compared with nondrinkers.
- With regard to quantity of alcohol consumed (range, 1–40+ g per day), all HRs were lower than 1, although a statistically significant association was found only among patients who consumed light-to-moderate amounts (20–29 g) per day.
- No significant differences were seen based on type of alcoholic beverage consumed.