Sorry, Guys: Binge Drinking as a Teen Raises Risk of Early Dementia


There are a lot of late-in-life negative side effects of excessive drinking during your teenage years: a total aversion to the “Sunset Blush” flavor of Franzia, an unending arsenal of humiliating Throwback Thursday photos for your mean-spirited friends and frenemies to avail themselves of, and so on. According to a recent Swedish study, though, these things are the least of your worries.

A study of nearly 500,000 Swedish men conscripted into military service between 1969 and 1979 identified “alcohol intoxication” as a late adolescent as the most serious of nine risk factors associated with young onset dementia (YOD), which is dementia before the age of 65. According to The Guardian:

Other “late adolescent risk factors” identified by the researchers included stroke, use of amtopsychotic drugs, depression, father’s dementia, drugs intoxication other than alcohol, low cognitive function at conscription, low height at conscription and high systolic blood pressure at conscription.

In an even more terrifying twist, men with at least two of the risk factors were twenty times more likely to develop YOD. According to Jess Smith, a research officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, “Kicking excessive teenage drinking or drug habits into touch and treating conditions such as depression early could be key to reducing your risk of dementia in later life.”

Quick, everyone run home and do some brain exercises.

“Teenage drinking raises risk of early dementia, study suggests” [The Guardian]

Image via stephenkirsch/Shutterstock.

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