Increased Dementia from Too Little Alcohol Consumption?

What's Your Alcohol Level ?

Too much or too little? Alcohol consumption in midlife may be linked to an increased risk for dementia later in life, researchers reported. (Kristen Monaco,Staff Writer, MedPage TodayAugust 01, 2018).    Image result for alcohol emoji

“In a large prospective study of over 9,000 individuals, abstention from alcohol consumption in midlife was tied to a significantly higher risk for dementia over a 23-year follow-up period compared with those who drank between 1 to 14 units of alcohol per week. However, those who consumed over 14 units of alcohol per week also saw an increased risk for dementia, with every 7-unit increase in alcohol tied to a 17% increase in dementia risk. Measures of liquor, glasses of wine, and pints of beer were converted to units of alcohol consumed per week.” (Sounds like a challenge of the minds or mindless, depending on which side of ‘midlife’ one may be travelling.)

Between midlife — 35 to 55 years of age — and early old age, certain drinking patterns and trajectories were also found to be associated with an increased risk for dementia compared with people who steadily kept their alcohol intake between 1 to 14 units.   

As for now, the research group recommended that governing bodies look at their individual guideline recommendations for alcohol consumption, noting how some countries have a higher threshold than 14 units per week to define excessive consumption. “The present study encourages the use of a lower threshold of alcohol consumption in such guidelines, applicable over the adult life course, in order to promote cognitive health,”.

In conclusion, 14 units of alcohol per week comes out to 2 units per day. How many glasses of wine equal a  ‘measure of liquor,? Perhaps this could be researched at the next Jello-Shots Party.  In the meantime, if you do drink alcohol, drink responsibly.                                                 

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Pam Batey

Moved to Tanglewood in August 2016, with husband, Steve and dog, Maggie. Retired Paramedic, now continuing my hobby writing short stories and information in the "You and Your Health" Section of the newsletter. Active Member of Tanglewood Community Church.