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Alcohol consumption and incident dementia: Evidence from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study

Alcohol consumption is a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia, but the literature is not completely consistent. This inconsistency may be partly due to an interaction with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, an established risk factor for Alzheimer’s dementia.

The aim of this study was to examine whether alcohol consumption is associated with incident dementia or decline in specific cognitive domains over 4 years, and if this effect is modified by APOE4 status. Nondemented community dwelling older adults (70- 90 years) from an ongoing longitudinal study were assessed for cognitive impairment in attention/ processing speed, language, executive function, visuospatial ability, and memory. Incident dementia was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Compared to those who did not drink in the previous 12 months, neither low consumption (HR 0.64 95% CI 0.3-1.4) or risky consumption (HR 0.58 95% CI 0.2- 1.5) was associated with incident dementia. Carriers of the APOE4 allele were more likely to develop dementia, but no significant interaction with alcohol consumption was found.

Source Alcohol consumption and incident dementia: Evidence from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. Heffernan M, Mather KA, Xu J, Assareh AA, Kochan NA, Reppermund S, Draper B, Trollor JN, Sachdev P, Brodaty H. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016 Mar 29.

 

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