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Home / Drinking / Chronic heavy drinking leads to serious risk of dementia, study warns!

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Heavy drinkers are putting themselves at risk of dementia, according to the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

Research published in the Lancet Public Health journal provides powerful evidence that people who drink enough to end up in hospital are putting themselves at serious risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It will also raise questions for moderate drinkers about the possible long-term consequences of their social habit.

The study, which used the French National Hospital Discharge database, looked at more than a million people diagnosed with dementia between 2008 and 2013.

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More than a third – 38% of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia – were directly alcohol-related and 18% had an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorders. Overall, alcohol use disorders were associated with a three times greater risk of all types of dementia.

Dr Sara Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “As this study only looked at the people who had been admitted to hospital due to chronic heavy drinking, it doesn’t reveal the full extent of the link between alcohol use and dementia risk. Previous research has indicated that even moderate drinking may have a negative impact on brain health and people shouldn’t be under the impression that only drinking to the point of hospitalisation carries a risk.”

Guardian: Full report