Drinking can accelerate memory loss among middle-aged men who consume two and a half alcoholic beverages day, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.
The study tracked 5,000 men and 2,000 women for a decade. Middle-aged men who drank heavily showed declines in memory, attention, and reasoning skills up to six years sooner than those who consumed less alcohol.
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"The present study confirms that moderate alcohol consumption is probably not deleterious for the brain. However, heavy alcohol consumption, even in midlife, might have consequences on cognitive functioning at older ages," study author Severine Sabia told CNN in an email
Another study, published Tuesday in the journal Addiction, showed nearly 80,000 deaths are related to alcohol consumption each year in North and Latin America.
Researchers examined alcohol as the cause of death over a two-year span in 16 North and Latin American countries. Eighty-four percent of the deaths were men.
"These deaths are all 100 percent preventable," study author Maristela Monteiro said, according to CNN. "(Drinking too much) is killing people before they should be dying."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines "heavy drinking" as consuming more than one drink per day for women and two for men. One drink is considered 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, or the equivalent of a 12-ounce beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, or a 5-ounce glass of wine.
"In countries that have less resources, less health care, less services, in addition you have more risk of dying from an alcohol-related problem," Monteiro told CNN.
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