Moderate alcohol intake may prevent early death with Alzheimer’s patients as per the findings of a new study recently published in the BMJ Open journal.
A team of Danish researchers studied the association between alcohol intake and premature death with Alzheimer’s patients. The study has been conducted as part of the Danish Alzheimer’s Intervention study and included 321 patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to study, moderate alcohol intake may prove beneficial for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 8 percent of the participants in the study never consumed alcohol, 71 percent consumed alcohol occasionally, while 17 percent reportedly consumed 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks daily.
For the latter group, the research team found an interesting association. These patients had a 77 percent lower chance of premature death during the study period, spanning a three-year timeframe. The research doesn’t establish a link between alcohol consumption and preventing death with Alzheimer’s patients.
According to the research team, the results of the study pinpoint a potentially positive association between the two.
“However, we cannot solely, on the basis of this study, either encourage or advise against moderate alcohol consumption in patients with AD”.
Alcohol intake was reported by the Alzheimer’s disease patients’ caregivers over the period of three years. Unfortunately, during the study timeframe, 16.5 percent of the Alzheimer’s patients died.
Moderate alcohol intake may prevent early death with Alzheimer’s patients. The conclusion held up as the research team accounted for other factors, including education, other health complications, age and gender, smoking status or quality of life.
According to the researchers, one reason that could explain this association is that moderate alcohol intake is already known to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. For Alzheimer’s patients who are over 60, this could be affecting them positively.
Another potential explanation is that alcohol consumption implies a social act. Going out for a drink or having friends and family over reduces perceived loneliness and actively contributes to a better life quality.
While the researchers declared that the study isn’t conclusive, it may offer valuable insight on factors that could reduce mortality in Alzheimer’s patients. Heather Snyder with the Alzheimer’s Association where she is the senior director of medical and scientific operations stated that the study’s findings are not surprising.
Several studies have highlighted how memory can benefit from social interactions associated with alcohol consumption. However, it is still difficult to pinpoint alcohol as a beneficial factor.
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