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Middle-aged should drink less to avoid dementia

There is “no safe level of alcohol consumption” and middle-aged people should drink less to reduce their risk of developing dementia, new official guidelines warn.

Alcohol Dementia Middle-aged
Middle-aged adults are encouraged to cut drinking to reduce the risk of dementia

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) guidelines for preventing the risks of dementia, disability and frailty suggest drinking alcohol is one of several contributing factors that can increase a person’s vulnerability.

Nice urged the health service to clarify the dangers of drinking alcohol and “encourage people to reduce the amount they drink as much as possible”, arguing that drinking daily had become the “norm”.

“Social norms can affect behavioural risks,” the report said. “It is becoming less usual for people to smoke, and that is an important driver for change.

“Social norms also exist for other behaviours and need to be challenged.

“Drinking alcohol daily at home has become normal for some people and this poses a threat to health.”

The guidelines also noted that middle-aged people could influence younger generations with their drinking habits.

“Children and young people are influenced by what they see,” the report continued. “By changing their own smoking, physical activity, drinking and dietary behaviours, people in mid-life may positively influence the health of children and young people.”

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