It's well-known that chronic heavy drinking boosts your risk of health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems. Now, a new study has found that it also increases your odds of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
The study, published in The Lancet Public Health, identified chronic heavy drinking as a major risk factor for all types of dementia, especially early onset of the disease. Overall, alcohol use disorders were tied to a three-fold higher risk of dementia. Keep reading for the full findings.
Study associates chronic heavy drinking with a three-fold higher risk of all types of dementia
For their study, the researchers examined more than 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia
in France. They found that well over 50% of the cases were either alcohol-related or accompanied by an additional diagnosis of alcohol abuse. Overall, they found that alcohol use disorders were associated with a three-fold higher risk of all types of dementia.
According to the World Health Organization, chronic heavy drinking refers to more than 60 g of pure alcohol – that’s about six or more standard drinks – a day for men and in excess of 40 g – four or more standard drinks – for women.
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Past studies have been inconclusive on the relationship between alcohol and cognitive health…
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are considered to be premature before age 65. Past studies have been inconclusive on the effect of alcohol on cognitive health. Some have suggested a benefit of light to moderate drinking, while others have found that heavy drinking increases the risk of dementia.
In this new study, the link with alcohol was statistically unmistakable. As a result, the researchers said they suggest brief interventions or screening for heavy drinking and alcoholism to help reduce risk of cognitive decline
and dementia. “The link between dementia and alcohol use disorders is likely a result of alcohol leading to permanent structural and functional brain damage,” said lead author Michael Schwarzinger, a scientist at the Translational Health Economics Network in Paris.
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