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Wine May Protect Against Dementia In Women

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

A study out of Sweden reports that women considered to be "consumers" of wine appear to be significantly less likely to suffer from dementia later in life than those that consume other forms of alcohol, or no alcohol at all.
A "consumer" of a particular drink is defined in the study as someone "reported having drunk more than once a month." This of course means the specific effectiveness of drinking wine was not investigated in this study, since consumers varied from drinking wine two times a month, to drinking wine daily.
The 1,458 women investigated were initially part of the 1968 "Population Study of Women" in Sweden. This group of women was recently monitored again, and it was found that 162 had developed some form of dementia. "The results show that among those women who reported that they drank wine a considerably lower proportion suffered from dementia, whereas this correlation was not found among those who had reported that they regularly drank beer or liquor," says the study.
It is noted in the recent study that the drinking habits of women have changed in the 40 years since the initial study was conducted, as significantly more women drink wine now than in 1968. According to the study, less than 20% of middle aged women drank wine once a week or more in 1968, while more than 50% do so now. The Population Study of Women has continued to be conducted, in the years 1974, 1980, 1992, 2000 and 2005, so more data will be available in the future to more extensively test the conclusions of this most recent study.
This study does not claim to be, and cannot be considered, conclusive. It's greatly lacking in specifics as to exact consumption levels, backgrounds of the women in question, and degrees of dementia. As study author Lauren Lissner says, "there may be other factors in women who drink wine that provide them with protection against dementia, factors that we can't measure. But the correlation found is a strong one and can't be explained by other factors that we can measure." Further investigation is necessary before recommendations can be made regarding wine's ability to prevent dementia, but this study does show that the correlation is a real possibility, and worth more intensive research. 

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Lundin, Ulrika. Lissner, Lauren. American Journal of Epidemiology news release. April 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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