Louise Mewton

Clarifying the relationship between alcohol use and dementia

Award: 
Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Pilot Grant
Status: 
In Progress
Project Snapshot: 

Whilst heavy alcohol use has been identified as a key modifiable risk factor for dementia, previous studies have shown that low to moderate alcohol use is beneficial when compared with both abstaining and heavy alcohol use. However, previous research has limitations. With alcohol use increasing among older adults, further research is needed to clarify the relationship between low to moderate alcohol use and the risk of dementia. Using large-scale data combined across 15 international studies (48,965 people), the current project aims to investigate the relationship between different patterns of alcohol use and dementia in adults aged over 65 years. The use of large-scale data will allow an unprecedented examination of the relationship between patterns of alcohol use and dementia, and how these may differ according to key clinical and demographic characteristics. This project will contribute to evidence-based recommendations on the number of standard drinks associated with minimal dementia risk. These practical recommendations will have a clear benefit in terms of dementia risk reduction in the wider community.