Early dementia linked to youth alcohol consumption — Swedish
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
A new Swedish study suggests that young people who consumed alcohol at
adolescence will likely end up with early dementia, contrary to what
was previously thought. Therefore, alcohol is a far greater risk factor
in the illness than hereditary forces.
In a study that has been published in the latest issue of the
scientific journal JAMA Internal Medicine, it argues that the study of
Swedish men suggests nine risk factors, most of which can be traced to
adolescence, account for most cases of young-onset dementia (YOD)
diagnosed before the age of 65 years.
Dementia is a major public health concern that affects an estimated
35.6 million people worldwide. The cost and disability associated with
dementia are expected to increase in the next 40 years, affecting more
than 115 million people by 2050, Peter Nordstrӧm, Ph.D, of UmeŚ
University, Sweden, and colleagues write in the study background.
The study included 488,484 Swedish men conscripted for mandatory
military service from September 1969 through December 1979 with an
average age of 18 years.
“Young-onset dementia (YOD), that is, dementia diagnosed before 65
years of age, has been related to genetic mutations in affected
families. The identification of other risk factors could improve the
understanding of this heterogeneous group of syndromes,” the study
During a median follow-up of 37 years, 487 men were diagnosed as having
YOD at a median age of 54 years. Significant risk factors for YOD
included alcohol intoxication, stroke, use of antipsychotics,
depression, father’s dementia, drug intoxication other than alcohol,
low cognitive function at conscription, low height at conscription, and
high systolic blood pressure at conscription, according to the results.
The idea that alcohol is a big risk factor for early dementia is
completely new. Previously, it was thought that the cause was linked to
genetic mutations but this study shows that heredity comes first among
the top five risk factors.
In other words, there are obvious opportunities to prevent early
dementia, a disease with devastating consequences.
By Scancomark.com Team