Willingness to adhere to current UK low-risk alcohol guidelines to potentially reduce dementia risk: A national survey of people aged 50 and over
de Oliveira, Deborah
Jones, Katy A.
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BACKGROUND: People over 50 are increasing their alcohol intake, potentially increasing their risk of dementia. OBJECTIVE: This study investigates whether people would be willing to adhere to current United Kingdom (UK, "low-risk") alcohol guidelines to reduce dementia risk. METHODS: A national cross-sectional online survey recruited a non-probabilistic sample of 3,948 individuals aged 50 and over without dementia in the UK. Self-reported willingness to comply with low-risk guidelines was predicted using logistic regression. Other relevant self-reported variables included physical health, lifestyle, and current alcohol intake. RESULTS: Majority of the sample (90%, n = 3,527) reported drinking alcohol at least once a month with 23% (n = 795) exceeding the low-risk guidelines (> 14 units per week). A larger proportion of men, those who were overweight, and people without a partner reported drinking above the recommended level. Most people who consumed alcohol (n = 2,934; 74.3%) appeared willing to adhere to low-risk guidelines if they were told that their risk of having dementia could be reduced. Increased willingness was found in women (OR 1.81; CI 1.47-2.23), in people who had at least one child (OR 1.36; CI 1.09-1.70), and those who slept well (OR 1.45; CI 1.06-2.00). People who were obese (OR 0.72; CI 0.54-0.95), those who drank alcohol above limits (OR 0.13; CI 0.11-0.16), and those who were smokers (OR 0.56; CI 0.36-0.88) were less willing to adhere to current guidelines. CONCLUSION: Men and people with more lifestyle risk factors for common chronic diseases (e.g., smoking, obesity, and excess alcohol consumption) are less willing to adhere to current alcohol low-risk guidelines to reduce dementia risk.