Population studies highlight an increased risk of dementia in both dependent and non-dependent drinkers
Alcohol use is widespread and increasing in the developing world. Recent evidence highlighting the association of alcohol with an increased risk of cancer has prompted revision of some national consumption guidance. However, excess alcohol consumption is often accompanied by adverse socioeconomic factors, making its association with healthcare outcomes complex and difficult to interpret.
Prior studies exploring links between alcohol and dementia have mostly involved cross-sectional and/or short-term prospective data and focussed principally on the effects of heavy alcohol intake mediated through thiamine deficiency. Evidence for longer term morbidity in non-dependent drinkers is less robust. As a result, although a few studies have demonstrated an association between alcohol and dementia, alcohol use is absent from the modifiable risk factors included in the “Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care” report commissioned by The Lancet in 2017. Indeed, some previous...