This paper evaluates the effects of moderate alcohol consumption (less than 15.0 g of alcohol per day) on cognitive function in women aged 70 to 81 years old. Cognitive function was evaluated in 12,480 participants in the Nurses' Health Study between 1995 and 2001, with follow-up assessments in 11,102 two years later. The level of alcohol consumption was ascertained regularly beginning in 1980. The authors calculated multivariate-adjusted mean cognitive scores and multivariate-adjusted risk of cognitive impairment and a substantial decline in cognitive function over time. The analyses were also stratified according to the apolipoprotein E genotype in a subgroup of women. Results showed that moderate drinkers had better mean cognitive scores than nondrinkers, after multivariate adjustment. Among moderate drinkers, the relative risk of impairment was 0.77 on the test of general cognition and 0.81 on the basis of a global cognitive score combining the results of all tests compared with nondrinkers. The results for cognitive decline were similar. There were no significant associations between higher levels of alcohol consumption (15.0 to 30.0 g per day) and the risk of cognitive impairment or decline. Findings also showed no significant difference in risk according to the alcoholic beverage and no interaction with the apolipoprotein E genotype. This data suggests that up to one drink per day does not impair cognitive function, and may actually decrease the risk of cognitive decline, in women.

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    Massachusetts Medical Society

    1440 Main Street
    Waltham, MA  United States  02254
  • Authors:
    • Stampfer, M J
    • Kang, J H
    • Chen, J
    • Cherry, R
    • Grodstein, F
  • Publication Date: 2005-1-20


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00986668
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 20 2005 12:00AM