Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'

Date:
July 11, 2013
Source:
University College London - UCL
Summary:
The combination of smoking and heavy drinking speeds up cognitive decline, according to new research.

The combination of smoking and heavy drinking speeds up cognitive decline, according to new research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Related Articles


Researchers from UCL (University College London) found that smokers who drank alcohol heavily had a 36% faster cognitive decline compared to non-smoking moderate drinkers.

Smoking and heavier alcohol consumption often co-occur, and their combined effect on cognition may be larger than the sum of their individual effects. The research team assessed 6,473 adults (4,635 men and 1,838 women) aged between 45 and 69 years old over a 10-year period. The adults were part of the Whitehall II cohort study of British civil servants.

All the participants were asked about their cigarette and alcohol consumption, and their cognitive function (including verbal and mathematical reasoning, short-term verbal memory and verbal fluency) was then assessed three times over 10 years.

The research team found that in current smokers who were also heavy drinkers, cognitive decline was 36% faster than in non-smoking moderate drinkers. This was equivalent to an age effect of 12 years -- an additional two years over the 10-year follow up period. Among smokers, cognitive decline was found to be faster as the number of alcohol units consumed increased.

Lead researcher Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson said: "Our research shows that cognitive decline was 36% faster in those people who reported both cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol above the recommended limits (14 units per week for women, 21 units per week for men). When we looked at people who were heavy-drinking smokers, we found that for every 10 years that they aged their brains aged the equivalent of 12 years."

"From a public health perspective, the increasing burden associated with cognitive aging could be reduced if lifestyle factors can be modified, and we believe that people should not drink alcohol more heavily in the belief that alcohol is a protective factor against cognitive decline. Current advice is that smokers should stop or cut down, and people should avoid heavy alcohol drinking. Our study suggests that people should also be advised not to combine these two unhealthy behaviours -- particularly from mid-life onwards. Healthy behaviours in midlife may prevent cognitive decline into early old age."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London - UCL. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Séverine Sabia, Eric John Brunner, Martin Shipley, Martin Bobak, Michael Marmot, Mika Kivimaki, and Archana Singh-Manoux. Combined impact of smoking and heavy alcohol use on cognitive decline in early old age: Whitehall II prospective cohort study. British Journal of Psychiatry, July 11, 2013 DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.122960

Cite This Page:

University College London - UCL. "Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130711084700.htm>.
University College London - UCL. (2013, July 11). Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130711084700.htm
University College London - UCL. "Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130711084700.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins