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Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Cognitive Functioning in a Zambian Population

N Kabuba
AJ Menon
K Hestad


Objectives: To investigate the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and cognitive functioning.
Design: A cross-sectional study comprising a sample of 157 (48.5%) males and 167 (51.5%) females, with an age range of between 20 and 50 years. All the participants were conversant with the English language. Their educational range was between 5-19 years of schooling.
Measures: The Zambia Neurobehavioural Test Battery was used to measure cognitive functioning. Self-reported alcohol consumption was obtained by means of the Chinese Substance Use Form.
Results: Male moderate drinkers have performed better on the Stroop Colour and Word Test, t-score (M=52.78; SD=8.4) than the non-drinking males, (M=48; SD= 10.2). The drinking females however, seemed to perform less well (M= 47.36; SD= 8.2) when compared to the non-drinking females (M=50.68; SD= 9.2) in the area of Verbal Episodic Memory.
Conclusion: The male participants seem to benefit from moderate alcohol consumption whereas a seemingly negative outcome in terms of cognitive functioning was observed in the female moderate alcohol consumers. It should be noted, however, that these differences observed though statistically significant are not clinically significant. Therefore, both the drinking and non-drinking groups with similar demographic characteristics are more or less expected to fall with the normal range of performance.

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eISSN: 0047-651X
print ISSN: 0047-651X