Moderate Alcohol Use Linked To Lower Mortality in Alzheimer’s Disease Interview with:

Chia-Yu Chu

Dr. Frans Boch Waldorff

Professor, Frans Boch Waldorff
General Practitioner
Research Unit of General Practice

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Waldorff: While there are numerous studies focusing on alcohol as a risk factor for dementia and mortality in healthy subjects, virtually no attention has been paid to the effect of alcohol consumption in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Considering that AD is a neurodegenerative disorder and that alcohol has known neurotoxic effects, one could easily jump to the conclusion that alcohol is damaging for patients with AD. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the positive association between moderate alcohol intake and mortality shown in population-based studies on healthy subjects can be transferred to patients with mild AD.

In our study we found that patients with mild  Alzheimer’s disease , moderate alcohol consumption (two to three units per day) was associated with a significantly lower risk of death compared with those who only had alcohol occasionally (one or less than one unit per day), and with those who had high alcohol intake (more than 3 units per day). Abstinence or high alcohol intake did not significantly raise mortality compared with those drinking only occasionally.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Prof. Waldorff:  The results of our study point towards a potential, positive association of moderate alcohol consumption on mortality in   Alzheimer’s disease patients. However we cannot solely on the basis of this study neither encourage nor advise against moderate alcohol consumption in AD patients.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Prof. Waldorff:  Further studies are off course needed on this area. Especially studies on the effect of alcohol on cognitive decline and disease progression in patients with mild   Alzheimer’s disease would be interesting.

Alcohol consumption and mortality in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease: a prospective cohort study

Sine Berntsen, Jakob Kragstrup, Volkert Siersma, Gunhild Waldemar, Frans Boch Waldorff

BMJ Open 2015;5:12 e007851 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007851

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Dr. Frans Boch Waldorff (2015). Moderate Alcohol Use Linked To Lower Mortality in Alzheimer’s Disease 

Last Updated on December 13, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD