The study covered in this summary was published in medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.
Alcohol use disorder was found to be associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the entire study population, as well as in the race-specific subpopulations (White, Hispanic, and Black).
Alcohol use disorder was found to be correlated with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease overall, but only in the White subpopulation.
Why This Matters
It is possible that early detection of adverse brain outcomes, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, in adults who are ≥ 65 years of age with alcohol use disorder may be possible, using neurological exams and cognitive screening.
This was a retrospective cohort design study using data from OPTUM Clinformatics (from individuals in the United States with either commercial insurance or Medicare Advantage).
The patients with alcohol use disorder were compared with a control group who did not have a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder.
The primary outcomes were the time to the diagnosis date of Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
The secondary outcome was the time to the first diagnosis of dementia.
Analyses were also done for race-specific subgroups.
The investigators looked at the association between alcohol use disorder and dementia, in addition to the cumulative incidence of dementia in patients with alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol use disorder in both male and female patients was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (P < .001).
Alcohol use disorder in both male and female patients was also associated with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease (P < .001).
In a subgroup analysis by race, alcohol use disorder was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease in Black, White, and Hispanic patients (P < .001).
However, in the subgroup analysis of risk for Parkinson’s disease, only White patients with alcohol use disorder had a significantly higher risk (P < .001).
The highest risk of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with alcohol use disorder was found in the Black population (female, 8.4%; male 6.2%); next was the White population (female 8.0%; male 5.4%), and then the Hispanic population (female 7.4%; male 5.0%).
The analytical data set only includes commercially insured individuals and US Medicare Advantage beneficiaries; therefore, the results may not be able to be generalized to traditional Medicare beneficiaries.
The claims data were not meant for research as the data do not include socioeconomic status, educational level, genetic factors, neurological exams, cognitive tests, and brain imaging studies. These data also only include alcohol use disorder of patients with that specific diagnosis in the claims.
The alcohol consumption records could not be examined.
The authors declared no competing interests.
This is a summary of a preprint research study, " Alcohol Use Disorder Is Associated with Higher Risks of Adverse Brain Outcomes ," written by Pengyue Zhang, PhD , from the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana , and colleagues, on medRxiv.org provided to you by Medscape. This study has not yet been peer reviewed. The full text of the study can be found on medRxiv.org.
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Cite this: Alcohol Use Disorder and the Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases - Medscape - May 12, 2022.