01 Jul How Does Light Drinking Affect Cognition As We Age?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ruiyuan Zhang, MD, MS
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of Georgia College of Public Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Although there are several studies that focused on the effect of alcohol drinking on cognitive function, their findings were still mixed. So we want to use some new analysis techniques on this topic to see if we can have new findings.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The main finding of our study is that low-to-moderate alcohol drinking is associated with better cognitive function outcomes.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: If you are a current drinker, please limit your drinking dosage into a moderate level; if you are not a drinker, please don’t start drinking only to protect your cognitive function, because alcohol could affect multiple organs of the human body and have short term or even long term adverse effects such as motor vehicle crashes, violence, and some cancers. There are other ways to prevent cognitive declines such as exercise and reading.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: One topic would be what is the mechanism of the effect that alcohol has on cognitive function. Another would be why different studies reached different conclusions on this effect. Is this because of genetic factors that could affect the sensitivity of the human body to alcohol?
Zhang R, Shen L, Miles T, et al. Association of Low to Moderate Alcohol Drinking With Cognitive Functions From Middle to Older Age Among US Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e207922. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.7922
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