Alcohol consumption may increase dementia risk for people with mild cognitive impairment

Adults age 72 and older with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who drank more than 14 alcoholic drinks a week were 72% more likely to progress to dementia over an eight-year period than those who drank less than one drink a week, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For participants without MCI, alcohol consumption was not associated with higher dementia risk.

“Physicians caring for older adults need to assess the full dimensions of drinking behavior―including how much and how often―and cognition when providing guidance to patients,” senior study author Majken Jensen, associate professor of nutrition, said in a September 30, 2019 Medscape article. “Advice to patients with MCI should acknowledge the lack of clear evidence of safety in this population.”

First author of the study was Manja Koch, research associate in the Department of Nutrition.

Read the Medscape article: MCI, Heavy Drinking a Hazardous Cocktail?