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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;22(10):1047-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

History of alcohol use disorders and risk of severe cognitive impairment: a 19-year prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, United Kingdom; National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), Leeds, United Kingdom.
2
University of Michigan and Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI.
3
College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.
4
University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, United Kingdom; National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), Leeds, United Kingdom; University of Michigan and Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI. Electronic address: I.Lang@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of a history of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) on risk of severe cognitive and memory impairment in later life.

METHODS:

We studied the association between history of AUDs and the onset of severe cognitive and memory impairment in 6,542 middle-aged adults born 1931 through 1941 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a prospective nationally representative U.S. cohort. Participants were assessed at 1992 baseline and follow-up cognitive assessments were conducted biannually from 1996 through 2010. History of AUDs was identified using the three-item modified CAGE questionnaire. Cognitive outcomes were assessed using the 35-item modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status at last follow-up with incident severe cognitive impairment defined as a score ≤ 8, and incident severe memory impairment defined as a score ≤ 1 on a 20-item memory subscale.

RESULTS:

During up to 19 years of follow-up (mean: 16.7 years, standard deviation: 3.0, range: 3.5-19.1 years), 90 participants experienced severe cognitive impairment and 74 participants experienced severe memory impairment. History of AUDs more than doubled the odds of severe memory impairment (odds ratio [OR] = 2.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27-3.85, t = 2.88, df = 52, p = 0.01). The association with severe cognitive impairment was statistically non-significant but in the same direction (OR = 1.80, 95% CI = 0.97-3.33, t = 1.92, df = 52, p = 0.06).

CONCLUSION:

Middle-aged adults with a history of AUDs have increased odds of developing severe memory impairment later in life. These results reinforce the need to consider the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognition from a multifactorial lifespan perspective.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol use disorders; CAGE; cognitive impairment; memory impairment

PMID:
25091517
PMCID:
PMC4165640
DOI:
10.1016/j.jagp.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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