Alcohol consumption and cerebral blood flow among older adults

IC Christie, J Price, Louisa Edwards, M Muldoon, CC Meltzer, JR Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


A substantial epidemiological literature now supports the existence of a J or U-shaped association between alcohol consumption and a broad range cardiovascular health outcomes including stroke. Although it is well documented that alcoholics exhibit both global and regional cerebral hypoperfusion in the sober state, little is known regarding the effects of a broader range of alcohol consumption on cerebral blood flow (CBF). The present study employed positron emission tomography with (H2O)-O-15 to assess quantitative global and regional CBF in 86 participants (51 men and 35 women; mean age 60.1) as a function of self-reported weekly alcohol consumption (none, <1, 1 to <7, 7 to <15, and > 15 drinks per week). Analyses controlling for age, gender, and vascular health (carotid intima-media thickness) revealed that, relative to the weighted population mean, global CBF was greater in the lightest alcohol consumption group (<1 per week) and lower in the heaviest (> 15 per week). Effects did not vary across regions of interest. This report is the first to describe an inverted J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and CBF in the absence of stroke. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • alcohol consumption
  • positron emission tomography
  • cerebral blood flow


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