Wall Street Journal - People who have a history of drinking problems by the time they are middle-aged are more than twice as likely to exhibit memory problems in later life as those who don’t, according to a study that followed 6,500 Americans for two decades.
A drinking problem was defined as answering yes to at least two of four questions in a widely used screening questionnaire for alcoholism: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people ever annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt guilty about drinking? And have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning?
For the study, researchers at the University of Exeter in England examined records from a major longitudinal study that tracked the health of thousands of Americans born between 1931 and 1941. Participants answered the alcohol questionnaire when they were first interviewed, in their 50s and 60s, and had follow-up cognitive assessments every other year from 1996 to 2010.
Only 16% said they had a drinking problem at some point. They were far more likely to show memory problems on the later word-recall tests, according to the study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Ok let’s make one thing clear right off the bat. Answering Yes to 2 of the 4 questions up there absolutely does not mean you have a drinking problem by any stretch of the imagination. I mean unless you have the scale set to “ultra pussy” that’s just absolutely absurd to suggest that. Let’s just take a look at myself for example. Have I ever felt I should cut down on my drinking? Every single morning that I wake up with a pounding headache and a credit card bar tab in my pocket that I definitely can’t afford. Have people ever annoyed me or criticized my drinking? Uhh yeah, ever gone out drinking with a girlfriend before? Ever been to dinner with your parents? Keep the bottles of wine coming waiter, don’t mind my mom. Have I ever felt guilty about drinking? I’m sure there were a few friend’s weddings and family vacations that I could have toned it down a little bit, yeah. Probably got a little bit obnoxious in some classy formal situations. Sure, who hasn’t. And have I ever had a drink first thing in the morning? Is that a joke? They’re called breakfast drinks for a reason. Why did God make orange juice, vodka, champagne, and Bloody Mary mix if we weren’t supposed to drink it on a Sunday morning after we hop out of bed?
That’s 4 out of 4 right there. And there’s no chance I have a drinking problem. I’m not even drunk right now. Seriously that’s how I define it. I’m sitting at home in shorts and a t-shirt blogging about alcohol and boobs for the day, and I’m not drunk. Self control like you read about.
Oh wait I forgot to mention the actual study that was the purpose of this blog. Ok I guess that kind of proves its point a little bit.