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Association between alcohol intake and subjective cognitive complaints in southwest Nigeria: a cross-sectional observational study

Awoyemi Abayomi Awofala
Olusegun Emmanuel Ogundele


Background: Alcohol, a widely abused drug, is a general CNS depressant that is involved in an impaired neurological functioning in a dose-dependent manner and purportedly, in the development of adverse cognitive functions in humans.

Objective: To assess crosss-sectionally whether alcohol consumption is associated with the risk of subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs).

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1299 participants with diverse age groups, ethnicity and socioeconomic levels recruited from six public hospitals in three different states in the southwest Nigeria between March 2016 and April 2016 was done. Prevalence of subjective cognitive complaints by the level of alcohol intake was measured using standardized questionnaire. Factor analyses (explorative and confirmatory) were used to validate the cognitive complaint questionnaire while conditional multiple logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between alcohol intake and SCCs.

Results: After adjustment for age, marital status, level of education, ethnicity, smoking status and physical activity (basic adjustment), participants in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of alcohol intake had a significantly increased odds of SCCs (odds ratio [OR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39–2.74; P for trend <0.001). Additional adjustment for body mass index, depression, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia, stress and family histories of diabetes and hypertension (multivariable adjustment), did not substantially affect this relationship (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.40–2.93; P for trend <0.001). When stratified by gender, results were similar and stronger for men in the basic (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.34–3.88, P for trend <0.001) and multivariable (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.37–4.47; P for trend <0.001) adjusted models but completely attenuated in the multivariable adjusted model for women (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 0.94–2.69; P for trend = 0.08).

Conclusion: High intake of alcohol is associated with higher risk of SCCs in men. This relationship is independent of cardiovascular risk factors.

Keywords: Alcohol intake, Subjective cognitive complaint, Cardiovascular risk, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2090-2948
print ISSN: 1110-0834