Researchers from Spain have suggested that risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease are low among those who consider themselves responsible drinkers and avoid tobacco. The results tend to be more distinct in women, regardless of the choice in alcoholic beverage.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Valencia which involved data gathering from 422 elderly residents living in and around Valencia. And also, 176 of the respondents had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The researchers asked the 246 subjects in the control group to complete questionnaires relating to lifetime exposure to alcohol as well as tobacco. Relatives of the Alzheimer’s patients completed the survey in their place.
The results gathered from the completed questionnaires showed that women who drank light to moderate amounts of alcohol (from one to two glasses daily) and did not smoke also had a 52 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s as compared to those who abstained from both alcohol and tobacco. The results for the men in a similar grouping showed a 20 percent lower risk.
According to Ana Garcia, lead researcher in the study, Interactive effects of smoking and drinking are supported by the fact that both alcohol and tobacco affect brain neuronal receptors. she also adds that there might be a need to consider interactions between alcohol and tobacco as well as other interactions between gender when evaluating the effects of smoking and/or drinking with Alzheimer’s risk. There are also other factors that the researchers believe were not highlighted in the said study that might require further investigation. The results of the study was published in the May issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.