Quantcast

Smoking plus heavy drinking may accelerate mental decline - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Smoking plus heavy drinking may accelerate mental decline

Updated: July 11, 2013 03:02 PM
© Ryan McVay / Digital Vision / Thinkstock © Ryan McVay / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Lighting up a cigarette and having a few cocktails often go hand in hand, but according to a new study, this common combination may wreak havoc on a person's mental skills.

Researchers from University College London found combined smoking and heavy drinking was associated with 36 percent faster decline in brain function, and the problem accelerates as the amount of alcohol consumed increases. People who avoid this behavior may help protect their mental skills as they get older, the study authors concluded.

"Current advice is that smokers should stop or cut down, and people should avoid heavy alcohol drinking," the study's lead researcher, Dr. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, said in a university news release. "Our study suggests that people should also be advised not to combine these two unhealthy behaviors -- particularly from midlife onwards. Healthy behaviors in midlife may prevent cognitive [mental] decline into early old age."

The 10-year study involved nearly 6,500 adults aged 45 to 69 years. The participants were asked about their smoking habits as well as the amount of alcohol they consumed. Their brain function -- including verbal and math reasoning, verbal fluency as well as their short-term verbal memory -- was also assessed three times over the course of the study.

The age effect of combined heavy drinking and smoking was the equivalent of 12 years -- two years more than the duration of the study, according to the study findings, which were published in the July 11 online edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

"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," Hagger-Johnson explained. "From a public health perspective, the increasing burden associated with cognitive [mental] 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."

Although the study found an association between smoking/drinking behavior and mental function decline, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about the negative effects of alcohol on the brain.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

Newsroom: (409) 838-1212
Front Desk: (409) 833-7512
News Fax: (409) 981-1564
News Email: 12News@kbmt12.com

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KBMT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.