March 19, 2003

Moderate Alcohol Use Fights Dementia

An article in the JAMA reveals health benefits to the elderly from moderate drinking:

The study of 373 dementia patients older than 65 and a like number of control subjects revealed that the lowest rates of dementia were among subjects who drank between one and six alcoholic drinks a week, who had half the risk of teetotalers.

People who abstained from alcohol and those who consumed between seven and 13 drinks a week were at about equal risk of developing dementia, while those who drank more than 13 drinks a week had a significant 22 percent higher risk.

The reason: better blood flow through reduced hardening of the arteries.

One other interesting fact: "People who had a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease and who drank heavily were at triple the risk" of developing dementia.

For those keeping score: that is from 1 to less than 2 drinks per day.

Posted by campbell at March 19, 2003 12:55 AM | TrackBack