Background: There is limited data on the effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive impairment in Chinese populations.
Objectives: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cognitive impairment in Southern Chinese older adults in Hong Kong.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study of 314 Chinese older participants, aged 65 years or over. Participants' socio-demographic, co-morbid diseases, alcohol drinking habits, and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) for cognitive function were obtained by a face-to-face interview. Participants were categorized into normal cognitive and cognitively impaired groups by education-adjusted MMSE cut-off scores.
Result: The mean (SD) age of the participants was 79.9 (6.5) years. The average weekly alcohol consumption in the cognitively impaired group was significantly higher than that of the normal cognition group [mean (SD): 861.89 (673.03) versus 241.21 (276.26) grams per week respectively; p < 0.001, t-test]. Drinkers with light to moderate alcohol consumption were associated with higher MMSE scores than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Logistic regression analyses showed that heavy drinkers (> 400 g alcohol for men and > 280 g for women) were associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment (OR = 4.99, 95%CI = 1.8-13.82), while light drinkers and moderated drinkers (< 400 g for men and < 280 g for women) were associated with reduced risks (OR = 0.32, 95%CI = 0.12-0.86; OR = 0.17, 95%CI = 0.06-0.51, respectively). Exercise and age were independent protective and risk factors respectively.
Conclusion: Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment while light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced risk among Southern Chinese older adults in Hong Kong.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.