Excessive Alcohol Intake Is High Risk for Early Onset Dementia

According to newly published research in The Lancet Public Health journal, alcohol abuse is the most important preventable risk factor for the onset of dementia, and particularly for Early Onset Dementia. They studied over one million adults in France who had been diagnosed with dementia. The WHO (World Health Organization) defines heavy drinking as ingestion of more than 60 grams pure alcohol on average per day for men (4-standard drinks),  and 40 grams (about 3 standard drinks) per day for women.

Co-author of the study Prof. Jr. Rehm says that on average, alcohol use disorders shorten life expectancy by greater than  20 years, and dementia is one of the leading causes of death for these people. He explains that “The findings indicate that heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders are the most important risk factors for dementia, and especially important for those types of dementia which start before age 65, and which lead to premature deaths. Alcohol-induced brain damage and dementia are preventable, and known-effective preventive and policy measures can make a dent into premature dementia deaths.”

As a result of the strong association found in this study, the authors suggest that screening, brief interventions for heavy drinking, and treatment for alcohol use disorders should be implemented to reduce the alcohol-attributable burden of dementia.

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