Heavy alcohol drinkers are putting themselves at greater risk of developing dementia, particularly early-onset dementia, new research states.
A French nationwide study into the effects of alcohol abuse disorders in more than one million adults diagnosed with dementia between 2008 and 2013 found that heavy drinkers could be three times more likely to develop the condition.
It said that chronic drinking could lead to “permanent structural and functional brain damage”.
The scientists who looked at 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia (before the age of 65) found that 39 per cent were alcohol-related while 18 per cent of these people also had a diagnosis of “alcohol use disorders”.
Some 3 per cent of all dementia cases were associated with alcohol-related brain damage.
The World Health Organisation defines chronic heavy drinking as consuming more than 60g of pure alcohol per day for men and 40g for women. This equates to about six or more standard drinks for men and four for women.
The study, published in the Lancet Public Health Journal, found that between 2008-2016, 1.1 million of the total 31.6 million people discharged from hospital had been diagnosed with dementia.
Source: Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times, 20/02/18