Alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment in older men: a mendelian randomization study

Almeida, Osvaldo P., Hankey, Graeme J., Yeap, Bu B., Golledge, Jonathan, and Flicker, Leon (2014) Alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment in older men: a mendelian randomization study. Neurology, 82 (12). pp. 1038-1044.

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Abstract

Objective: To determine whether alcohol consumption is causally associated with cognitive impairment in older men as predicted by mendelian randomization.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of a cohort study of 3,542 community-dwelling men aged 65 to 83 years followed for 6 years. Cognitive impairment was established by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or less. Participants provided detailed information about their use of alcohol during the preceding year and were classified as abstainers, occasional drinkers, and regular drinkers: mild (<15 drinks/wk), moderate (15-27 drinks/wk), heavy (28-34 drinks/wk), and abusers (35 drinks/wk). We genotyped the rs1229984 GA variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) gene, which is associated with lower prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence. Other measures included age, education, marital status, smoking and physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

Results: At study entry, rs1229984 GA polymorphism was associated with lower prevalence of regular use of alcohol and decreased consumption among regular users. Six years later, 502 men (14.2%) showed evidence of cognitive impairment. Abstainers and irregular drinkers had higher odds of cognitive impairment than regular drinkers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00-1.51, after adjustment for other measured factors). The rs1229984 GA polymorphism did not decrease the odds of cognitive impairment (AA/GG OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 0.29-6.27; GA/GG OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.71-1.55).

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption, including heavy regular drinking and abuse, is not a direct cause of cognitive impairment in later life. Our results are consistent with the possibility, but do not prove, that regular moderate drinking decreases the risk of cognitive impairment in older men.

Item ID: 34117
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1526-632X
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 279408, NHMRC 379600 , NHMRC 403963, NHMRC 513823, NHMRC 634492
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2014 09:30
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110201 Cardiology (incl Cardiovascular Diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 100%
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