The study looked at data from 330 people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, to see if there was a link between alcohol intake and risk of cardiovascular-associated death. Previous evidence has shown an association between moderate drinking and lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Results showed that drinking 2-3 units of alcohol per day was associated with a 77% lower risk of death, compared to drinking 1 unit or less.
Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Despite some evidence to show that the occasional drink could have health benefits, this study is not a green light for people with Alzheimer’s disease to start drinking more.
“While this small study shows a link between moderate drinking and reduced risk of death in people with Alzheimer’s, we simply don’t yet know why that might be the case. Drinking is often a social activity, and factors such as social interaction have previously been shown to benefit people with dementia, so this could well have a part to play in these results.
“Looking at the effects of alcohol on people living with dementia, rather than as a risk factor for developing the condition, is a new idea. This could be an interesting area of research if it can help us identify social or medical factors that will help people with dementia to live for longer.”