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26 October 2015 08:46
Drinking may raise the risk of developing dementia, new guidance warns
People should reduce the amount they drink as much as possible to cut their chances of getting dementia, an official health watchdog's new report says.
Drinking alcohol, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says in its new guidance, is one of the factors that can make people more prone to developing dementia as well as disability and frailty.
It wants middle-aged people to be urged by health officials to cut their drinking and be told that when it comes to alcohol consumption there is no such thing as a safe level.
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NICE says studies show that as well as drinking alcohol, being overweight, smoking and not doing enough exercise can make people more vulnerable to dementia.
Its new guidance is targeted at those aged between 40 and 64 and may be included in revised Government alcohol guidelines that could be published within months.
NICE's report says while it has become a social norm, regular drinking should be challenged.
At the moment, official guidance states that men should not consume more than four units of alcohol a day, with women advised to have no more than three units.
But NICE says its Public Health Advisory Committee has been told that people should be given the message that no level is safe.
It adds that while drinking alcohol at home every day has become the norm for some people, it is something that poses a risk to their health.
The report adds that by altering their drinking habits, middle-aged people may be able to influence the behaviour of younger people.
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