March 11, 2011

USA: Alcohol after 75 linked to less dementia

BOSTON / United Press International / Health News / March 10, 2011

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption in those age 75 and older is associated with lower risk of developing dementia, researchers in Boston say.

Researchers at Boston University Medical Center tracked 3,202 German people age 75 and older who regularly saw their doctor and were free of dementia for 1.5 years. In a follow-up three years later, the researchers conducted a detailed assessment of current alcohol consumption and dementia diagnoses.

During the follow-up, 217 subjects met criteria for dementia.

The study, published in the journal Age and Ageing, found study subjects consuming alcohol had approximately 30 percent less overall dementia and 40 percent less Alzheimer's dementia than did non-drinking subjects.

There appeared to be no significant differences depending on the type of alcohol consumed.

The study findings are similar to those of several previous studies in the very elderly and suggest moderate drinking is associated with less dementia -- even among people age 75 and older, the researchers said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc.