Scientists Claim People With Lower IQs Are More Likely To Binge Drink

by Sean Levinson

While heavy drinkers might sometimes seem to lack a little bit of common sense, research suggests their unhealthy habit might actually be related to a lower IQ score.

A team from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute studied personality and IQ data of nearly 50,000 Swedish men drafted into their country's military between 1969 and 1971, Daily Mail reports.

A questionnaire regarding the soldiers' relationship with alcohol and several IQ examinations were included in this data.

They found that those who drank the most in terms of quantity and frequency tended to have lower IQs.

Numerous other factors such as education and their families' social and economic status also played a part, but researchers ultimately concluded a low intelligence level is clearly associated with binge drinking.

Daniel Falkstedt, a public health professor, said in the study,

In this study of a general population, intelligence probably comes before the behavior -- in this case, alcohol consumption and a pattern of drinking in late adolescence. It could be the other way around for a minority of individuals, that is, when exposure to alcohol has led to cognitive impairment. But this is less likely to be found among young persons.

Researcher Sara Sjolund noted that a low IQ may not always lead to a drinking problem depending on the individual's childhood and even financial success as a young adult.

Binge drinking is defined as the consumption of five or more drinks in two hours for men and four or more for women.

This is typically how many drinks it takes for one's blood alcohol content to reach the legal driving limit of .08.

These findings come shortly after another Swedish study revealed female binge drinkers to have an increased risk of developing eating disorders.

In a study involving Russian teenagers, Daily Mail reports that nearly 50 percent of girls who binge drink also struggle to keep their weight down and many of them skip meals.

Citations: Binge drinkers are less intelligent (Daily Mail)