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BMJ Open 5:e007851 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007851
  • Neurology
    • Research

Alcohol consumption and mortality in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease: a prospective cohort study

Press Release
  1. Frans Boch Waldorff1,2,3
  1. 1The Research Unit for General Practice and Section of General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2The Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense C, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Neurology, The Danish Dementia Research Centre, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sine Berntsen; sineberntsen{at}hotmail.com
  • Received 2 February 2015
  • Revised 3 September 2015
  • Accepted 6 October 2015
  • Published 11 December 2015

Abstract

Objective To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and mortality in patients recently diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Design A post hoc analysis study based on a clinical trial population.

Setting The data reported were collected as part of the Danish Alzheimer's Intervention Study (DAISY), a longitudinal multicentre randomised controlled study on the efficacy of psychosocial intervention in patients with mild AD across five county districts in Denmark.

Participants 321 patients with mild AD (Mini-Mental State Examination ≥20) were included. Data regarding current daily alcohol consumption were obtained from the patient's primary caregivers at inclusion.

Main outcome All-cause mortality retrieved from The Danish Civil Registration System over a period of 36 months after baseline.

Results Information about alcohol consumption was obtained from all 321 study participants: 8% were abstinent, 71% only had alcohol occasionally (1 or <1 unit/day), 17% had 2–3 units/day and 4% had more than 3 units/day. An analysis adjusted for a range of potential confounders demonstrated a reduced mortality for patients with moderate alcohol consumption (2–3 units/day): HR 0.23 (95% CI (0.08 to 0.69)) compared with patients who had 1 or <1 unit/day. Mortality was not significantly different in abstinent patients or in patients with an alcohol consumption of more than 3 units/day, compared with patients drinking 1 or <1 unit/day.

Conclusions In this cohort of patients with mild AD, moderate alcohol consumption (2–3 units/day) was associated with a significantly lower mortality over a period of 36 months. Further studies are needed in this area. These may especially focus on the association between alcohol consumption and cognitive decline in patients with AD.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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