Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer's Disease

A case-control study of alcohol and smoking as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease examined the effects of both before the onset of the disease (and the same age for their age-matched controls). The controls were interviewed and relatives of those with Alzheimer's were interviewed. The analysis of data adjusted for gender, age, residence, education, economic situation, employment, and history of dementia in close relatives.

Tobacco use had no effect on risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. However, those who consumed alcohol had almost half the risk of Alzheimer's than did lifetime abstainers from alcohol. Those who drank alcohol but never smoked had even lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Note: This website does not provide nutritional or medical advice about drinking alcohol and weight gain or any other subject and none should be inferred.


  • GarcĂ­a, A.M., et al. Isolated and joint effects of tobacco and alcohol consumption on risk of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Alzheimers Disease, 2010, 20(2), 577-586.

Readings on Alcohol, Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease Risk:

  • (listing does not imply endorsement)
  • Anon. Alzheimer's risk predictor: the ApoE4 gene is a culprit. Health News, 2009, 15(10), 4
  • Anon. A drink a day might keep fuzzy thinking away. Science News, 2005, 167( 6), 93.
  • Anon. Fruit juice may cut Alzheimer's risk. Mayo Clinic health letter, 2009, 27(2), 4.
  • Anon. Head injuries raise Alzheimer's risk. US News and World Report, 2000, 129, Part, 54-55.
  • Anon. Risk factors for Alzheimer's. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, 2001, 13, Part 4, 151.
  • Anon. Spinal fluid test foretells Alzheimer's risk. Science News, 2009, 176(4), 10.
  • Anon. Vitamin E and C combo reduces Alzheimer's risk. Geriatrics.2004, 59(8), 8.
  • Anon. Vitamins, ibuprofen reduce Alzheimer's risk. The Nurse Practitioner, 2006, 31(11), 60.
  • Anon. The impact of race and ethnicity on Alzheimer's risk. Patient Care, 1998, 32(9), 221.
  • Arehart-Treichel, J. Large studies provide clues to Alzheimer;s risk, prevention. Psychiatric News, 2008, 43(13), 18.
  • Arehart-Treichel, J. Two more gene variants linked to Alzheimer's risk. Psychiatric News, 2009, 44(20), 21.
  • Arehart-Treichel, J. Simple interventions in middle age may lower Alzheimer's risk. Psychiatric News, 2009, 44(24), 28.
  • Couzin, J. Once shunned, test for Alzheimer;s risk headed to market. Science, 2008, 319(5866), 1022.
  • Crawford, J.G. Alzheimer's disease risk factors as related to cerebral blood flow: additional evidence. Medical Hypotheses, 1998, 50(1): 25-36
  • Graves, A.B., et al. Alcohol and tobacco consumption as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. International journal of epidemiology, 1991; 20 Suppl 2: S48-57.
  • Harder, B. Mediterranean diet tied to low Alzheimer's risk. Science News, 2006, 169(16), 245.
  • Hebert, L. E., et al. Relation of Smoking and Alcohol Consumption to Incident Alzheimer's Disease. NY: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Huang, W., et al. Alcohol consumption and incidence of dementia in a community sample aged 75 years and older. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 2002 Oct; 55(10): 959-64
  • Lerner, A.W. and Lerner, A.C. Alzheimer's Disease. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2009.
  • Letenneur, L. Risk of dementia and alcohol and wine consumption. Biological Research, 2004, 37(2), 189-193.
  • Luchsinger, J.A., et al. Alcohol intake and risk of dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, no. 4 (2004): 540-546
  • Panza, F., et al. Vascular risk factors, alcohol intake, and cognitive decline. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 2008. 12(6), 376-381
  • Seppa, N. Tests might predict Alzheimer's risk. Science News, 2006,169(7), 102.
  • Stampfer, M.J. Review: Cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease: common links. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2006, 260(3), 211-223.
  • Tyas, S.L. Alcohol use and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 25, no. 4, (2001): 299

Filed Under: Aging

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