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Teen drinking linked to dementia

AFP-JIJI

Heavy drinking and drug use in teenage years may boost your chances of developing dementia before the age of 65, Swedish researchers said Tuesday.

Alcohol abuse emerged as the strongest of nine risk factors that could be traced as far back as adolescence, according to a study of 488,484 Swedish men conscripted for military service between September 1969 and December 1979 at an average age of 18.

In the 37 years following their conscription, 487 of the men were diagnosed with young-onset dementia at a median age of 54 years.

Sixty-eight percent of the young-onset dementia cases identified could be attributed to one or more of the nine factors.

“One case of alcohol poisoning increased the risk by about fivefold,” said geriatrics professor Peter Nordstroem of Sweden’s Umeaa University