Smoking plus heavy drinking may accelerate mental decline - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Smoking plus heavy drinking may accelerate mental decline

Updated: July 11, 2013 03:02 PM
© Ryan McVay / Digital Vision / Thinkstock © Ryan McVay / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
  • More NewsMore>>

  • One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
  • Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.  Vehicles are often using the same lanes as Amish buggies and localMore >>
    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.More >>
  • Wild turkey season opening in Ohio

    Wild turkey season opening in Ohio

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:59:44 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's spring season for hunting wild turkeys opens Monday with youths allowed to begin hunting the popular game bird this weekend.The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Ohio has had above-average hatch years that should result in many 2-year-old and 1-year-old male turkeys. The agency's Division of Wildlife anticipates about 70,000 licensed hunters aside from landowners hunting on their own property.The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the ...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's spring season for hunting wild turkeys opens Monday with youths allowed to begin hunting the popular game bird this weekend.The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Ohio has had above-average hatch years that should result in many 2-year-old and 1-year-old male turkeys. The agency's Division of Wildlife anticipates about 70,000 licensed hunters aside from landowners hunting on their own property.The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the ...More >>

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Lighting up a cigarette and having a few cocktails often go hand in hand, but according to a new study, this common combination may wreak havoc on a person's mental skills.

Researchers from University College London found combined smoking and heavy drinking was associated with 36 percent faster decline in brain function, and the problem accelerates as the amount of alcohol consumed increases. People who avoid this behavior may help protect their mental skills as they get older, the study authors concluded.

"Current advice is that smokers should stop or cut down, and people should avoid heavy alcohol drinking," the study's lead researcher, Dr. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, said in a university news release. "Our study suggests that people should also be advised not to combine these two unhealthy behaviors -- particularly from midlife onwards. Healthy behaviors in midlife may prevent cognitive [mental] decline into early old age."

The 10-year study involved nearly 6,500 adults aged 45 to 69 years. The participants were asked about their smoking habits as well as the amount of alcohol they consumed. Their brain function -- including verbal and math reasoning, verbal fluency as well as their short-term verbal memory -- was also assessed three times over the course of the study.

The age effect of combined heavy drinking and smoking was the equivalent of 12 years -- two years more than the duration of the study, according to the study findings, which were published in the July 11 online edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

"When we looked at people who were heavy-drinking smokers, we found that for every 10 years that they aged, their brains aged the equivalent of 12 years," Hagger-Johnson explained. "From a public health perspective, the increasing burden associated with cognitive [mental] aging could be reduced if lifestyle factors can be modified, and we believe that people should not drink alcohol more heavily in the belief that alcohol is a protective factor against cognitive decline."

Although the study found an association between smoking/drinking behavior and mental function decline, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about the negative effects of alcohol on the brain.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:22 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:22:26 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms