College cuts your chances of becoming an alcoholic in HALF: New study finds that every four extra years of educations reduces the risks of binge drinking by 50 percent
- Participants who completed an additional 3.61 years of school were 50% less likely to binge drink
- They also reduced the risk of memory loss from drinking, illicit drug use and alcohol dependence
- Those who finished school were more likely to drink wine, while those who didn’t were more likely to drink distilled spirits, beer and cider
Not finishing school could double your risk of becoming a binge drinker, new research suggests.
Researchers found that people who did an extra four years of school were 50 percent less likely to become alcoholics.
It wasn’t measured so much by the amount that they drank over the courses of their lives – but by genetic markers that they binge drank more frequently, a surer sign of dependence.
Men and women who completed school were also more likely to drink wine, while those who didn’t were more likely to drink distilled spirits, beer and cider.
The team, from the National Institutes of Health, said the findings suggest that promoting educations may be a useful tool in public health campaigns that warn against alcohol abuse and dependence.
A new study from the National Institutes of Health has found that those who had four more years of school were more likely to drink wine and less likely to drink distilled spirits and beer (file image)
For the study, broken into two sections, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team recruited about 780,000 people, both men and women.
First, researchers looked at 53 genetic variants and whether or not they were linked with completing years of school.
Then, for the second half, they looked at which genes were present in the DNA of people who reported alcohol use.
Results showed genes linked to completing more school years was not associated did not affect the total amount of alcohol people drank in a week.
But it was linked to less total binge drinking, which was defined as having six or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting.
Specifically, an extra 3.61 years of school was associated with an approximately 50 percent reduced risk of alcohol dependence.
Those who completed more years of school were also less likely to have memory loss while drinking, and less likely to drink distilled spirits, beer and cider.
Beer and spirits drinkers, less likely to have finished school, were at an increased risk of illicit drug use and alcohol dependence.
The differences in the amount of spirits drank was greater between women, as it was for weekly beer and cider consumption between men.
‘It is important to understand that while these genetic variants allow us to investigate the possible effect of educational attainment on alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence, this doesn’t mean that educational attainment can’t be modified,’ said corresponding author Dr Falk Lohoff of the National Institutes of Health.
‘The possible effect of educational attainment on drinking that we show in this study, suggests that increasing educational attainment may be a useful target for prevention programs against problematic alcohol use, alcohol dependence, and their consequences.’
Dr Lohoff warned the findings were limited to English-speaking countries and needed to be verified with data from different countries and ethnicities.