Alcohol misuse linked to increased dementia risk
20 February 2018
French and Canadian researchers have investigated a link between chronic alcohol misuse in people admitted to French hospitals and their dementia risk. Scientists found that there was a strong association between excessive alcohol consumption and increased risk of dementia. The findings are published today in the scientific journal Lancet Public Health.
Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“This well-conducted study looked at the medical records of thousands of people and highlighted a strong association between harmful drinking and dementia risk. This is not the first time research has revealed a link between alcohol misuse and dementia, and the findings lend even more weight to calls for people to drink within recommended guidelines.
“As this study only looked at the people who had been admitted to hospital due to chronic heavy drinking, it doesn’t reveal the full extent of the link between alcohol use and dementia risk. Previous research has indicated that even moderate drinking may have a negative impact on brain health and people shouldn’t be under the impression that only drinking to the point of hospitalisation carries a risk.
“Taking steps to curb the amount of alcohol you consume can have far-reaching health benefits and isn’t limited to improving brain health. Although there is no sure-fire way to completely prevent dementia, the best current evidence indicates that as well as only drinking in moderation, staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support a healthy brain as we age.”