Though contracting ALS (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is relatively rare, according to a new Dutch study, your risk is cut in half if you drink moderately, when compared to abstainers. Better known, at least in North America, as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — since the New York Yankees first baseman famously contracted it in 1938 — the ABMRF is reporting about the new study. According to their information, the Risk of ALS Seen to be Lower in Drinkers than Abstainers. Their full article is below:
A Dutch population-based case-control study of the rare but devastating neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggests that the risk of such disease is increased among smokers, as has been shown previously. However, surprisingly, the risk of ALS was seen to be markedly lower among consumers of alcohol than among abstainers.
The study conducted between 2006 and 2009 included surveying 494 patients with incident ALS, a large sample for the rare disease, and 1,599 controls. Investigators compared results with those from cohorts including patients with prevalent ALS and referral patients.
Results highlight the importance of lifestyle factors in the risk for ALS. Current smoking is associated with an increased risk of ALS and a worse prognosis. However, alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of ALS, as the risk among drinkers was about one half that of non-drinkers.
You can see the abstract for the study itself, Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and the Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-based Study, at PubMed.