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Large study is “robust” evidence of link between chronic heavy drinking and dementia

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k814 (Published 21 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k814
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Chronic heavy drinking should be recognised as a major risk factor for dementia, especially early onset dementia, say researchers. Doctors should screen patients for heaving drinking and offer brief interventions to help reduce alcohol consumption if necessary, they wrote in Lancet Public Health.1

The French retrospective cohort study, which included data from over 31 million people, found a strong association between alcohol use disorders and all types of dementia, even after they controlled for potential confounding risk factors.

The relation between alcohol and dementia has been widely studied, with some studies showing a possible benefit of light to moderate drinking, while others have found a detrimental effect of heavy drinking on dementia risk. The World Health Organization defines chronic heavy drinking as consuming more than 60 …

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