Alcohol & Dementia

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that moderate drinking could reduce the risk for dementia. It found that moderate drinkers have a 54% lower chance of developing dementia than abstainers.

About 6,000 people age 65 and older in four communities across the U.S. provided detailed information about their eating and drinking patterns. Researchers compared the drinking behaviors of the people who developed dementia with people who didn't. While moderate drinking dramatically reduced the risk for dementia, heavy or abusive drinking increased it somewhat.

The type of alcohol beverage consumed (wine, spirits, or beer) didn't make a difference in the protective effects of drinking in moderation.



  • Mulkamal, K.J., et al. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003 (March 19), 289, 1405-1413.

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