Want to stave off dementia? Just drink alcohol in as you age, say researchers.
A new study, led by Australian National University, has found that people who drink alcohol in moderation later in life are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia than those who abstain. For their study, the researchers analysed the outcomes of 15 researches exploring links between drinking and dementia drawing on the results for more than 10,000 people worldwide.
"We looked at the results of studies that followed up with participants at intervals over two to eight years. We then used statistical analysis to synthesise the results and to weight the studies according to their sample size.
"We found that light to moderate drinkers were 28 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-drinkers, 25 per cent less likely to develop vascular dementia, and 26 per cent less likely to develop 'any dementia'," said lead author Prof Kaarin Anstey. In these studies, drinkers had 44 per cent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's and 47 per cent reduced risk of developing 'any dementia'.
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.