Drinking as a teen may raise your risk of early dementia, a new study says. A Swedish study of almost 500,000 men found that drinking heavily in adolescence was the most serious risk factor for experiencing young onset dementia before age 65.
The study identified eight other risk factors, including use of amtopsychotic drugs, depression, drugs intoxication other than alcohol, low cognitive function, and low height, but found that “alcohol intoxication” was the most serious of the nine risk factors. Altogether, these nine risk factors accounted for 68% of the young onset dementia cases that researchers found.
Jess Smith, a research officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, noted that many of these risk factors are controllable: “Kicking excessive teenage drinking or drug habits into touch and treating conditions such as depression early could be key to reducing your risk of dementia in later life.”