Brazilian researchers examined drinking and memory/ cognition in 1,145 volunteers aged 60 and older. The participants included 419 men and 726 women from different socio-economic levels. The studies corresponding author, Marcos Antonio Lopes is currently a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University in England.
The researchers found that participants who were mid-moderate drinkers, especially women, had lower rates of cognitive problems than non-drinkers.
Heavy alcohol use among the elderly people (8.2%) affected principally men from low socio-economic levels. However, the effects of heavy alcohol use on memory and other cognitive functions were more evident in women”.
“There is a scarcity of information about alcohol use and the elderly which needs to be resolved in order to construct a real diagnosis and promote proper health care for this population”, Lopes said.
“This study shows that older people keep drinking along the life span” Jerson Laks, an associate professor of the State University of Rio de Janeiro and a researcher with the Brazilian National Committee for Research commented.
Source: The study is published online in advance of the April print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research