Background: Evidence for late-life alcohol consumption being associated with reduced dementia risk is largely based on cohort studies of predominately non-Hispanic white older adults. Our objective was to investigate the relationship between late-life alcohol consumption and dementia risk among Mexican-America adults aged 75 and older. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of waves 5 (2004/05) to 8 (2012/13) of the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly. The final sample included 1,255 participants. Late-life alcohol consumption status was classified as life-long abstainer, former drinker, and current drinker. Dementia was defined as a score of 18 points or lower on the Mini-Mental Status Examination or a proxy-reported diagnosis of dementia. Results: 41.8% of participants were life-long abstainers, 42.0% were former drinkers, and 16.3% were current drinkers. Current alcohol consumers had significantly lower dementia risk compared to life-long abstainers (HR=0.63, 95% CI = 0.44–0.89). Dementia risk for former alcohol consumers compared to life-long abstainers was not statistically significant (HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.67–1.09). Conclusions: Current alcohol consumption was associated with lower dementia risk for Mexican Americans aged 75 and older. Continued research is needed to identify pathways for the protective association between late life alcohol consumption and dementia risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology