Childhood IQ possibly linked to adult alcohol use

By chillinwill · Oct 22, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Contrary to expectations, higher intelligence scores at age 10 may be associated with higher levels of alcohol intake and alcohol-related drinking problems during adulthood, study findings suggest.

    Moreover, these associations appear "markedly stronger among women than among men," Dr. G. David Batty, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and colleagues report in the American Journal of Public Health.

    However, "given that these findings ran counter to our expectations," the investigators call for further examination of this relationship.

    Batty's team assessed associations between mental ability scores obtained when 8170 boys and girls were 10 years old and their alcohol intake and alcohol problems when they were about 30 years old.

    Of the 3895 men and 4148 women who reported drinking alcohol as adults, those with higher average scores on childhood mental ability tests were also more likely to have indications of alcohol problems in adulthood.

    The association between higher mental ability in childhood and adulthood problem drinking became stronger among women than among men after allowing for socioeconomic factors such as social class during both childhood and adulthood.

    Specifically, for every 15-point increase in childhood mental ability score, the likelihood of drinking problems increased 1.38 times for women, and 1.17 times fro men

    These unexpected findings, and the lack of other research in this area, indicate the need for "further examination of the relation between childhood IQ and adult drinking patterns," the investigators conclude.

    SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health, October 2008


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  1. Laudaphun
    SWIM was just about to start a thread elsewhere about something very similar. It seems that students often classified as "gifted" are highly prone to ADD/ADHD, along with many other psychological disorders. In addition, untreated psychological disorders are often the cause of substance abuse/alcoholism (attempts at self-medication). This has been fairly well known to the academic community for a while, but only recently has the media decided to take interest in it.

    "ADHD persists beyond childhood and into adulthood in about 40 to 60 percent of affected individuals. In adults, it is associated with a tenflod increase of antisocial personality disorder, up to a fivefold increased risk of drug abuse, a twenty-fivefold increase in risk for institutionalization for delinquency, and up to a ninefold increased risk for incarceration."
    -A Primer of Drug Action

    Personally, SWIM believes that with the recent introduction of "office-based opiate treatment" with buprenorphine in the U.S. during the past couple of years, more and more opiate addicts are getting medical treatment and being diagnosed with other psychological disorders. When the cravings are eliminated, the patient can then focus on other problems and in many cases get to the real root cause of the problem. The success rate of this, seems to have finally earned the attention of the media.

    SWIM has read much other literature on the correlation between intelligence to psychological disorders. Will try to dig up more later on.
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