PubMed | Leiden University and a Parnassia Psychiatric Institute
Type: | Journal: Substance use & misuse | Year: 2016
Alcohol dependence is associated with impairments in cognition, especially in later life. Previous studies suggest that excessive drinking has more negative impact on cognition in women than in men.In this study, differences in cognition between male and female older, alcohol-dependent patients were examined.Older alcohol-dependent inpatients (N = 164, 62.2% men, mean age 62.6 6.4) underwent neuropsychological tests of sensitivity to interference, mental flexibility, and visual processing.No gender differences were found in age, educational level, estimated premorbid verbal intelligence, and sensitivity to interference. Duration of alcohol dependence was longer for men than for women. Men performed better than women on visual processing, and women better than men on mental flexibility. The superior mental flexibility of women remained significant after adjustment for duration of alcohol dependence. Conclusions/Importance: Older alcohol-dependent inpatients performed below average on cognitive tasks, which suggests that long-term excessive alcohol use negatively affects cognition. Our study does not demonstrate more severe cognitive impairment in women than in men.