OA Epidemiology

Alcohol Intake and Cognitive Decline at Middle Age: The Doetinchem Cohort Study

Proceedings of the 2013 annual meeting of the Netherlands Epidemiology Society

Volume 1 Issue S1 Abstract 37


A.C.J. Nooyens, RIVM, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
B. Bueno-de-Mesquita, RIVM, Bilthoven; University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands
B.M. van Gelder, RIVM, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
M.P.J. van Boxtel, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
W.M.M. Verschuren, RIVM, Bilthoven, the Netherlands

Cognitive decline may lead to dementia. Alcohol consumption is a possible determinant of cognitive decline. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate associations between both total consumption of alcoholic beverages and different types of alcoholic beverages and cognitive decline at middle age.

In 2613 men and women of the Doetinchem Cohort Study, aged 43-70 at baseline (1995-2002), alcohol intake and cognitive function was assessed twice, with a 5-year time interval. Alcohol intake was assessed in a validated semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Cognitive function was assessed using a test battery assessing global cognitive function, as well as three specific cognitive domains (memory function, speed and flexibility). In linear regression analyses, consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages and total alcohol intake was analysed in relation to cognitive decline, adjusting for confounders.

Especially higher intake of red wine was consistently associated with a less strong decline in both global cognitive function (p-trend<0.01) as well as memory function (p-trend<0.01). Smallest declines were observed at a consumption of about 1.5 glasses of red wine per day. Neither total alcohol intake, nor other types of alcoholic beverages were associated with cognitive decline.

Since only moderate red wine consumption was consistently associated with a less strong cognitive decline, it is more likely that other substances in red wine, rather than alcohol itself, are responsible for the observed favourable effect on the decline in cognitive function with ageing.

Published: 06 Jun, 2013

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)