Page last updated: June 2019

Alcohol consumption and incident dementia in older Japanese adults

A study evaluated the association between the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and incident dementia in older Japanese adults using large sample size data over a long follow-up period.

The study carried out in Japan included 53,311 older adults who were followed from 2008 to 2014. A health checkup questionnaire was used to assess the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. The Dementia Scale of long-term care insurance was used as a measure of incident dementia. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios, with their 95% confidence intervals, for the incidence of dementia across the categories of alcohol consumption by sex.

During a 7-year follow-up period, 14,479 participants were regarded as having incident dementia. Compared with non-drinkers, the multivariate adjusted hazard ratios for participants with alcohol consumption ≤2 units per day, occasionally (0.88, 95% CI 0.81-0.96 in men and 0.84, 95% 0.79-0.90 in women) and daily (0.79, 95% 0.73-0.85 in men and 0.87, 95% 0.78-0.97 in women) were statistically significant, and the difference between occasional and daily consumption was only statistically significant in men.

Compared with non-drinkers, the multivariate adjusted hazard ratios for participants with alcohol consumption>2 units per day, occasionally (0.91, 95% 0.71-1.16 in men and 1.09, 95% 0.72-1.67 in women) and daily consumption (0.89, 95% 0.81- 1.00 in men and 1.16, 95% 0.84-1.81 in women) were not significant. Alcohol consumption of ≤2 units per day, occasionally or daily, could reduce the risk of incident dementia, with greater benefit for men with such daily consumption, the authors conclude.

Source: Alcohol consumption and incident dementia in older Japanese adults: The Okayama Study. Liu Y, Mitsuhashi T, Yamakawa M, Sasai M, Tsuda T, Doi H, Hamada J. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2019 Jun 7.

doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13694
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