Skip to comments.Alcohol May Not Affect Memory over Long Term
Posted on 10/28/2002 6:00:51 PM PST by Pharmboy
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Enjoying a cocktail now and then is not associated with declining mental function over time and may even make women sharper, according to a new report.
"Findings from this...study suggest that long-term social and habitual consumption of alcohol is not associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline in men and may even protect against cognitive decline in women," Constantine G. Lyketsos and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, write.
Nearly 1,500 adults 18 and older were divided into five groups based on their self-reported alcohol consumption at three points during the nearly 12-year study. All completed a test to measure memory and other cognitive skills.
Group 1 was comprised of non-alcohol users. Adults in the second group were dubbed social or infrequent drinkers, and consumed no more than four drinks a day but did not drink daily and drank on fewer than 20 days a month.
The frequent or habitual drinkers in the third group had no more than four drinks a day but reported drinking on at least 20 days a month. Group four was comprised of heavy but infrequent users who had more than four drinks daily on fewer than 20 days, and adults in group 5 drank the same amount on at least 20 days a month.
All groups of adults experienced some decline over the years regardless of how much alcohol they consumed at any time, probably reflecting the inevitable effects of aging. But teetotalers, especially women, experienced greater declines in cognitive ability. Test scores were nearly 1 point lower overall among female nondrinkers compared with women who often drank heavily, for instance.
There was no difference among men, according to the report in a recent issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
It is not clear from the study why drinking would protect women's memories. The researchers suggest potential flaws in the study design, including the "survival bias" in which the least healthy individuals, including those with cognitive problems, die before the end of the study.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology 2002;156:747-752.
Back in my younger dating and drinking days--a long time ago--I can tell you for sure that women became sharper the more I drank.
...and THEE...silly. Where's my drink?
Isn't that enough? :-)
Psst! The girl, don't forget the girl!
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