A recent study indicates that how much you drink now can have an acute effect on your health as you age. The BMJ study suggests that heavy drinking as a middle-aged individual (described as the consumption of 14 or more units of alcohol a week) likely correlates with a higher risk of dementia as you age. Alternatively, drinking moderately can actually reduce your risk of dementia. The study followed just over 9,000 British workers aged between 35 and 55 for approximately 10 years, regularly surveying their average alcohol intake on a semi-monthly basis. Initiated in 1985, regular monitoring stopped in 1993, when the average age of all in the study was 50. Follow-ups began approximately 23 years after initial monitoring, with startling results. Of 9,087 participants, 397 cases of dementia were recorded. The average age of those with dementia was 76. While other countries don’t ascribe to the same drinking guidelines as Britain, it pays to note that this 30+ year study certainly detailed a definitive correlation between heavy drinking and problems with health later on in life. And while this study indicated an above average rate of dementia in heavy drinkers, it is safe to assume that the propensity to develop other diseases is just as high for those prone to drinking heavily. Researchers suggest that staying below that 14 unit threshold is a good goal to aim for, but the less you can drink, the better. Drinking more leads to a greater risk of necessary hospital admission, illegal activity, and other risky behaviors. Additionally, the type of drinks you consume can play a big role in future health issues. Wine, for instance, contains significantly less alcohol than heavier liquors. Beer, though typically light in alcohol content, also contains a good portion of fat, and its frequent consumption can lead to unhealthy weight gain as well as drunkenness. Another key point to remember when it comes to alcohol consumption as a middle-aged adult is the fact that the body responds very differently to alcohol as you age. While this has little to do with dementia, it is worth noting that drinking heavily when you’re older also involves an increased risk of cancer, liver damage, and brain damage, as the body cannot metabolize the chemicals in a drink as efficiently as it might once have been able to. Other symptoms of drinking when you’re older involve a higher propensity to crash a car, fall, and sustain breaks and fractures due the body’s weakened faculties.
Addiction is nothing to play with– and alcohol addiction claims more lives than any other addiction in America. If you’re willing, help is just a call away. At Oceanfront Recovery, we won’t just treat your illness. We’ll open your eyes to a brand new life. Call us today!