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Alcohol consumption and mortality in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease: a prospective cohort study
  1. Sine Berntsen1,
  2. Jakob Kragstrup1,
  3. Volkert Siersma1,
  4. Gunhild Waldemar2,
  5. 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}


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.


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