from the no-more-beer-in-the-baby's-bottle dept.
Submitted via IRC for Bytram
Although drinking by U.S. adolescents has decreased during the last decade, more than 20 percent of U.S. high-school students continue to drink alcohol before the age of 14 years. This can have adverse effects on their neurodevelopment. For example, youth who initiate drinking before 14 years of age are four times more likely to develop psychosocial, psychiatric, and substance-use difficulties than those who begin drinking after turning 20 years of age. Little is known about how the age of alcohol-use onset influences brain development. This is the first study to assess the association between age of adolescent drinking onset and neurocognitive performance, taking into account pre-existing cognitive function.
AND see also: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.13503
The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer. Heavy drinkers face a much longer list of risks, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. That's a whole lot of cancers.
"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement. "And if you don't drink, don't start." She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking. But the message rings the same.
The doctors behind the statement aimed to draw attention to what they view as a public health problem and advocate for a push towards better education and research.
Related: Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
Researchers Make Alcohol Out of Thin Air
No Magic Pill to Cure Alcohol Dependence Yet
Early Age of Drinking Leads to Neurocognitive and Neuropsychological Damage