Heavy Drinking ‘Strongest’ Modifiable Risk Factor for Dementia

The retrospective analysis involving 30 million people in France shows that those with a history of alcohol use disorders had a threefold increased risk for dementia and that over half those with early-onset dementia had a history of alcohol problems. “This study used a phenomenally large database, and the result showing that half the cases of early-onset dementia were associated with alcohol use disorders is truly staggering,” Ballard told Medscape Medical News.

The researchers used diagnostic codes on hospital records to identify patients with dementia and those who had a history of alcohol use disorders. They found over a million cases of dementia, after excluding people with diseases that can lead to rare types of dementia and those with early-life mental disorders that can increase or confound dementia diagnosis. There were also 945,000 people with alcohol use disorders.

Results showed a strong association between a history of alcohol problems and dementia. This was especially noticeable in early-onset dementia, with 57% of the 57,000 patients who had developed dementia under the age of 65 years having a history of alcohol use disorders (66% of men and 37% of women).

In an analysis of just those patients in whom the first record of dementia occurred in 2011-2013 and adjusted for other risk factors found in the medical records, the risk for dementia was three times greater if the patient had a history of alcohol use disorders. The hazard ratio was 3.36 for men and 3.34 for women.

Read the Medscape article here.  Or get down and dirty with the full study here.

Be careful with interpreting these results.

France.  I’m not joking.  Here’s  a Global Consumption Map.

 

 

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Anosognosia

Remember this – if you can’t remember you’ve forgotten you have a problem.

Source article here. 

And while we’re on the topic don’t forget to exercise.

Or did you forget?

A follow up two years later showed that patients who were unaware of their memory problems were more likely to have developed dementia, even when taking into account other factors like genetic risk, age, gender and education. The increased progression to dementia was mirrored by increased brain metabolic dysfunction in regions vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.

Alternative Dementia Screening Tests | Physician’s Weekly

Alternative Dementia Screening Tests | News Brief

  

Chinese investigators suggest that there are multiples alternatives to the Mini-Mental State Examination that have comparable diagnostic capabilities for detecting dementia. The Mini-Cog test and the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-Revised were deemed the most effective alternative screening tests for dementia. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was determined to be the optimal alternative for detecting mild cognitive impairment.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, September 2015.

Source: Alternative Dementia Screening Tests | Physician’s Weekly

Latest Facts & Figures Report | Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States overall and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases, including the number one cause of death (heart disease), decreased.

Change in Number of Deaths 2000 - 2010

via Latest Facts & Figures Report | Alzheimer’s Association.

1 in 3 Americans has Dementia at Time of Death

One in three older adults has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia at the time of death. As the nation’s population ages, the number of people with the progressive neurological disorder could triple in the next 40 years, said a study published online Feb. 6 in Neurology.

via 1 in 3 Americans has dementia at time of death – amednews.com.