New research suggested that alcohol abuse affects female intelligence more than male even in cases when less alcohol is consumed over fewer years.
Alcohol abuse has been found to affect the visual working memory, spatial planning, problem solving and cognitive flexibility. It may not affect the person’s professional life but their social skills as well.
The researchers compared test results from male and female alcoholics and non-alcoholics from Russia. The test results showed that non-alcoholics trumped the alcoholics, who had been abstinent for three weeks, in a series of computerized tasks.The study participants were asked to match patterns in shapes, remember the locations of stimuli, and name colors when confronted with contradictory information.
The female alcoholics who used alcohol for 10.6 years scored significantly worse than the male alcoholics who had been drinking for14.8 years. This finding prompted calling for a "gender-sensitive public awareness campaign that highlights these cognitive deficits."
Other studies showed that female drinkers experience accelerated damage to the liver, heart and muscles comparing to male alcoholics.
The researchers reported that the number of female alcoholics was small and that a larger group should be assigned for future research. Another problem was that the non-alcoholics were more educated, a factor that might have marginally affected the results.