Heavy drinking in middle-age may speed cognitive decline by up to 6 years in men

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Washington: A new study has revealed that middle-aged men, who are heavy drinkers, may speed their memory loss by up to six years later on.

On the other hand, the study found no differences in memory and executive function, which deals with attention and reasoning skills in achieving a goal, in men who do not drink, former drinkers and light or moderate drinkers.

"Our study focused on middle-aged participants and suggests that heavy drinking is associated with faster decline in all areas of cognitive function in men," study author Severine Sabia, from the University College London in the United Kingdom, said.

The study involved 5,054 men and 2,099 women whose drinking habits were assessed three times over 10 years. A drink was considered wine, beer or liquor.

Then, when the participants were an average age of 56, they took their first memory and executive function test. The tests were repeated twice over the next 10 years.

Heavy drinkers showed memory and executive function declines between one-and-a-half to six years faster than those who had fewer drinks per day.

The study is published in the journal Neurology.