liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

Smart Alcoholics

New research has shown that kids who have high IQ's at the age of 10 are more likely to be alcohol dependent at age 30. The effect is stronger in women than among men. In young girls, 15 more IQ points adds up to a 38% increased risk of alcoholism. Boys with 15 more smart points only have a 17% higher risk of being a boozer. This is not what the scientists expected. That is why science is done: to find out, not to prove your assumptions. Clarification for those who misread the title behind the cut: the 1970 British cohort study is of children who were BORN in 1970; this is new science based on an old foundation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18235070
1: Am J Public Health. 2008 Dec;98(12):2237-43. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Childhood mental ability and adult alcohol intake and alcohol problems: the 1970 British cohort study.
Batty GD, Deary IJ, Schoon I, Emslie C, Hunt K, Gale CR.

UK Medical Research Council Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. david-b@msoc.mrc.gla.ac.uk

OBJECTIVES: We examined the potential relation of mental ability test scores at age 10 years with alcohol problems and alcohol intake at age 30 years. METHODS: We used data from a prospective observational study involving 8170 members of a birth cohort from Great Britain born in 1970. Data included mental ability scores at age 10 years and responses to inquiries about alcohol intake and problems at age 30 years. RESULTS: After adjustment for potential mediating and confounding factors, cohort members with higher childhood mental ability scores had an increased prevalence of problem drinking in adulthood. This association was stronger among women (odds ratio [OR](1 SD increase in ability) = 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16, 1.64) than men (OR(1 SD increase in ability) = 1.17; CI = 1.04, 1.28; P for interaction = .004). Childhood mental ability was also related to a higher average intake of alcohol and to drinking more frequently. Again, these gradients were stronger among women than among men. CONCLUSIONS: In this large-scale cohort study, higher childhood mental ability was related to alcohol problems and higher alcohol intake in adult life. These unexpected results warrant examination in other studies.

PMID: 18235070 [PubMed - in process]

On another subject but related:

Interesting to me, in looking through some of Batty's prior research, he found in 2005 that intelligence (in a Danish cohort study) is inversely related to psychiatric disorders later in life. So the smart ones are less likely to go crazy, or maybe just less likely to end up hospitalized for it. Maybe because they are self-medicating with booze, huh? From: The British Journal of Psychiatry (2005) 187: 180-181
Tags: addiction, alcohol, intelligence, parenting, psych, sanity, science
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