According to the research conducted at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, older people who consume alcohol on a daily basis are expected to have less cognitive impairments than the non-drinkers. The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The link between moderate alcohol consumption and longevity was shown in the previous study.  While the present study reveals that people’s cognitive health in their late age was also improved, reported Linda McEvoy, an associate professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Among people (aged ≥ 85 years), those who consumed "moderate to heavy" amounts of alcohol on a daily basis were twice as likely to be cognitively healthy than non-drinkers. The study was carried for over 29-years, researchers assessed the cognitive health every four years using Mini-Mental State Examination, standard dementia screening test.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has categorized drinking as moderate, heavy or excessive. Moderate drinking; consuming one alcoholic beverage a day for adult women of any age and men aged ≥65; about two drinks/ day for adult men <65 years old. Heavy drinking; about three alcoholic beverages/ day for women of any adult age and men 65 and older; and four drinks a day for adult men <65. More than this limit includes excessive drinking.

McEvoy said that only a few individuals in the study drank to excess; thus, the effect of excessive or binge-type drinking on longevity and cognitive health in aging was not investigated. However, long-term excessive alcohol intake was known to cause alcohol-related dementia.

The study does not suggest drinking for increased longevity and cognitive health. However, wine consumption is linked with higher incomes and education levels which in turn provides better access to health care, reduces the smoking rates and mental illness, researchers say.

The study included 1,344 older adults (728 women; 616 men) from Rancho Bernardo, San Diego. More than 99% study individuals monitored from 1984 to 2013, were Caucasian with at least some college education.

"This study shows that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in aging," reported Erin Richard, lead author of the study. However, alcohol consumption is not recommended for all, as in some people health problems could be aggravated. Some cannot limit their drinking to only a glass or two per day, thus resulting in negative consequences.