Alcohol is greatest factor in onset of early dementia
30 August 2013
A study by researchers at Umeå University in Sweden has found that
the risk factor most strongly linked to the development of early
dementia is alcohol poisoning, which increased the risk of dementia
almost five times.
The study covered nearly 500,000 men conscripted for military
service from 1969 to 1980. During a follow-up period of 37 years 487
men suffered early dementia, and were diagnosed at an average of 54
years old. So-called young-onset dementia (YOD) or early dementia is
a form of dementia that affects people before the age of 65.
The study found nine factors that can increase the risk of
developing dementia before age 65. Besides alcohol poisoning, stroke
and use of antipsychotic drugs increased the risk of dementia nearly
three times while depression and dementia in the victim's father
gave a near doubling of the risk. Significant increases in risk were
also seen with drug intoxication other than alcohol, as well as in
impaired cognitive function, short stature or high systolic blood
pressure associated with military service.
Collectively, 68% of the cases of early dementia that occurred
during the monitoring period were linked to the nine risk factors
identified. Men with impaired cognitive function and at least two of
the nine risk factors were up to 20 times greater risk of developing
dementia during follow-up period.
The results have been published in the journal JAMA Internal
Intern Med. Published online August 12, 2013.
Risk Factors in Late Adolescence
for Young-Onset Dementia in MenA Nationwide Cohort Study.