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From One Source To Another Essay

1612 words - 7 pages

Alcohol has been considered by many to be a powerful, and sometimes deadly, drug. It is often created during the breakdown process of sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide during the fermentation of fruits or grain. The consumption of this substance has been restricted by age in most countries, as it has been linked to the harm of the kidneys, brain, and other parts of the human body. Alcohol has been a large presence in the media for centuries, mainly due to its sometimes damaging effects on consumers. However, there are those who believe that consuming alcohol could actually prove to have health benefits as well. A study by Dutch scientists suggests that a low-to-moderate intake of alcohol could actually reduce the risk of dementia in elderly victims from age fifty-five and up.
The article that outlines the study, titled Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia: the Rotterdam Study, introduces the experiment as a part of the Rotterdam Study: a prospective, population-based cohort study that sought to investigate factors that led to health problems in the elderly. A prospective take on the study was chosen since the subjects have already been exposed to the causal agent—in this case, alcohol—in their lives prior to the study. They hypothesized that “light-to-moderate alcohol intake was associated with a lower risk of dementia, and aimed to quantify the relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of dementia and subtypes of dementia; specifically, we examined whether the effect varied by type of alcoholic beverage” (Ruitenberg et al. 281). The study involved 7983 individuals approximately fifty-five years and older, but only those who showed no signs of dementia in the years 1990 to 1993 and could provide in-depth data on their previous alcohol consumption were examined for this particular study. All subjects of the study had given written consent to the researchers prior to participation in order for the scientists to receive relevant information from the patients' physicians. This study was also acknowledged and approved by the Medial Ethics Committee of the Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam. Over the course of the original Rotterdam Study, during the baseline stage, the subjects were interviewed in their homes and were asked questions about their lifestyle, current medications, and all other relevant information. They were also given clinical examinations at the study center twice, and those participants who were present during the second visit were administered a food-frequency questionnaire. In attempt to keep the questionnaires as reliable as possible, those with signs of mental declination were either not given the questionnaires or those specific results were excluded from the overall analysis. According to the article, “Because of logical inconsistencies in the dietary interviews, 212 additional respondents were excluded later, resulting in 5395 completed reliable questionnaires” (Ruitenberg et al. 282). The next part of the...

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