Does alcohol consumption in later life increase the risk of dementia and cognitive decline?

Takeaway

  • In older adults without mild cognitive impairment (MCI), daily low-quantity drinking is associated with lower dementia risk than infrequent higher-quantity drinking; in those with MCI, drinking more than 14 units/week could lead to severe cognitive decline.

Why this matters

    Doctors caring for older adults should assess drinking behavior and cognition when providing guidance about alcohol consumption; particular caution is needed among individuals with MCI who continue to drink alcohol.