Light to moderate drinkers are 25 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who abstain from alcohol, according to the latest research.
The meta-analysis of 15 research studies, exploring links between drinking and dementia, is based on a survey of around 10,000 people worldwide.
"We looked at the results of studies that followed up with participants at intervals over two to eight years," said study leader Kaarin Anstey, of the Australian National University (ANU).
"We found that light to moderate drinkers were 28 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-drinkers, 25 percent less likely to develop vascular dementia, and 26 percent less likely to develop ?any dementia'," Anstey added.
Some of the research projects considered in the ANU synthesis study only reported whether participants were ?drinkers' or ?non-drinkers' and did not explore the extent of their drinking.
The meta-analysis also found that the relationship between drinking and dementia was the same for men and women, with light to moderate drinkers showing decreased incidence of dementia regardless of sex.
The report was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.