Tuesday, 25 June 2019 12:36

Adult-life binge drinking of alcoholic beverages appears to be associated with age-related cognitive decline

Cognitive decline is a common consequence of ageing. Alcohol consumption is a modifiable and plausible risk factor for age-related cognitive decline but more longitudinal studies investigating the association are needed.

The researchers assessed the relationship of self-reported adult-life weekly alcohol consumption and weekly extreme binge drinking with changes in test scores on an identical validated test of intelligence completed in early adulthood and late midlife. 2,498 Danish men from the Lifestyle and Cognition Follow-up study 2015 were included in the analysis. Binge drinking was defined as ≥10 units on the same occasion.

Men with adult-life alcohol consumption of more than 28 units/week had a larger decline in IQ scores from early adulthood to late midlife than men consuming 1–14 units/week (B29–35units/ week = −3.6; P < 0.001). Likewise, a 1-year increase in weekly extreme binge drinking was associated with a 0.12-point decline in IQ scores.

Adult-life heavy alcohol consumption and extreme binge drinking appear to be associated with larger cognitive decline in men. Moreover, extreme binge drinking may be more important than weekly alcohol consumption in relation to cognitive decline.


Grønkjær M, Flensborg-Madsen T, Osler M, Sørensen HJ, Becker U, Mortensen EL, Adult-life alcohol consumption and age-related cognitive decline from early adulthood to late midlife.. Alcohol and Alcoholism, agz038, doi.org/10.1093/ alcalc/agz038

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.



The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.