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Do you drink alcohol every day? Your risk of dementia might be smaller

Heavy drinkers are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia, according to a study from the University of California, San Diego.

The three-decades-spanning study has found that over-65s who indulge in up to three alcoholic drinks a day are more likely to enjoy a happy and healthy retirement, according to the Independent. For the study, over 1,000 middle-class white men and women in the state were observed. Every four years, the participants had their cognitive health assessed, with a standard dementia screening test called the Mini Mental State Examination.

“This study is unique because we considered men and women’s cognitive health at late age and found that alcohol consumption is not only associated with reduced mortality, but with greater chances of remaining cognitively healthy into older age,” said lead author Dr Linda McEvoy.

Despite the conclusions of the study, there still is a big risk: indulging in the pleasure of drinking alcohol too often might expose you to the possibility of developing alcohol-related dementia. Heavy drinking is defined as three drinks for women and four for men, anything above these limits being considered excessive by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“It is important to point out that there were very few individuals in our study who drank to excess,” McEvoy continued, “so our study does not show how excessive or binge-type drinking may affect longevity and cognitive health in aging.”

The researchers noted that the evidence does not suggest drinking is the only factor responsible for longevity and cognitive health. They insisted that the data should not be used as a warrant for people to drink more.

Daisy Wilder

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