Quantcast
Connect with us

Teetotalers, like big drinkers, more prone to dementia

Published

on

People who have sworn off alcohol for decades or longer run a higher risk of dementia late in life than moderate drinkers, according to a new study.

Long-term teetotallers were roughly 50 percent more likely to suffer Alzheimers or another form of neurodegenerative disease, scientists reported in the BMJ, a medical journal, on Wednesday.

With heavy drinking, however, dementia became even more prevalent, though for different reasons.

Unlike earlier research, the study did not find a link between abstinence and a shorter life expectancy, as compared to occasional drinkers.

The results were based on a review of medical records rather than the more scientifically rigorous clinical trials used to assess new drugs, and the number of cases examined was relatively small.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the startling results are robust, and should prompt government-funded trials to assess “the possible protective effect of light-to-moderate alcohol use on risk of dementia,” commented Sevil Yasar, an associate professor at the John Hopkins School of Medicine who was not involved in the study.

At the same time, the study cautioned, the findings “should not motivate people who do not drink to start drinking given the known detrimental effects of alcohol consumption for mortality, neuropsychiatric disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and cancer.”

Worldwide, about seven percent of people over 65 suffer from some form of dementia, a percentage that rises to 40 percent above the age of 85. The number of sufferers is expected to triple by 2050.

ADVERTISEMENT

The research, led by Severine Sabia at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, also found that — among moderate drinkers — wine consumption correlated with a lower risk of dementia than beer or spirits, such as whiskey, gin or vodka.

“Light-to-moderate” drinking was defined, during middle age, as one-to-14 drinks per week, corresponding to the maximum limit recommended for both men and women in Britain.

The 14-drink-per-week maximum — similar to guidelines in other countries — is the equivalent of six medium (175-millilitre) glasses of wine at 13 percent alcohol, six pints of four-percent beer, or 14 25-ml shots of 40-degree spirits.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study was not set up to explain why non-drinkers might be more prone to cognitive decline, but the findings offered possible clues.

– Alcohol carries other risks –

“Some of the excess risk of dementia in abstainers was explained by greater risk of cardiometric disease,” such as stroke, coronary heart disease and diabetes, Sabia and her team concluded.

ADVERTISEMENT

Non-drinkers canvassed were more likely to be burdened with lifestyle diseases, but the link with dementia held true even after these health problems were taken into account, they reported.

Because the study only tracked alcohol consumption starting in midlife, it is also possible that a prior history of heavy drinking might have contributed to dementia many decades later, one expert not involved in the study cautioned.

“Future research will need to examine drinking habits across a whole lifetime, and this will help to shed more light on the relationship between alcohol and dementia,” Sara Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, told the Science Media Centre.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the case of wine, earlier studies have suggested that so-called polyphenolic compounds may offer some protection to neural networks and blood vessels, but such findings remain controversial.

The findings are based on health records — part of the Whitehall II study on long-term health — for more than 9,000 British civil servants who were 35 to 55 years old in 1985.

Alcohol intake of participants was monitored regularly for two decades, and hospital records were examined for signs of heart and alcohol-related disease.

ADVERTISEMENT

A total of nearly 400 dementia cases — with onset occurring, on average, at age 76 — were reported.

The study also confirmed that heavy drinking is strongly linked to dementia, with a 17-percent increase in risk for each additional seven drinks per week.

Chronic heavy drinking has been clearly established as a major risk factor for all types of dementia, especially early onset of the disease.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Fox News cuts into Trump’s Turning Point USA speech after he starts rambling about handshakes

Published

on

Fox News on Tuesday briefly interrupted a speech being delivered by President Donald Trump at a Turning Point USA summit.

During his speech, Trump started talking about delivering a commencement address at the Air Force Academy.

"They said, sir, would you like to shake the hands of all the cadets? I said how many other? They said 1,100. I said yeah, that sounds okay,” Trump remarked.

“Do other presidents do it? Yes, they do. Do all of them? What they didn’t say is they start, then they peter out. That sun was beaming down, and if some of these guys are great athletes — some of the women, they had some women in the class, their hands were very strong, okay.”

Continue Reading

Facebook

Hundreds of orgs, political and religious leaders demand Pompeo abolish his anti-LGBTQ ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’

Published

on

'Harmful to the Global Effort to Protect the Rights of All People and a Waste of Resources'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday was sent letters signed by hundreds of human rights organizations, activists, and supporters, along with religious and political leaders demanding he abolish his newly-formed anti-LGBTQ and anti-women "Commission on Unalienable Rights."

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Meghan McCain gets schooled after complaining Brett Kavanaugh was treated worse than Al Franken

Published

on

Meghan McCain noticed the asymmetry in the accusations of sexual misconduct against Al Franken and Brett Kavanaugh, even if she overlooked how those allegations eventually played out.

"The View" tackled a New Yorker piece published by Jane Mayer, who believes the Minnesota Democrat was "railroaded" out of the U.S. Senate over sexual harassment claims, and McCain said Democrats had no choice but to force him to resign.

"Imagine him questioning Brett Kavanaugh at the time," McCain said, "which by the way, the writer who wrote this article, Jane Mayer, wrote a 2018 piece about allegations of Brett Kavanaugh that's been panned because the only corroborating witness said he had heard the story but he didn't remember it now, so it's very tricky."

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image
Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image