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Cognitive ability in early adulthood as a predictor of habitual drug use during later military service and civilian life: the Vietnam Experience Study

White, James, Mortensen, Laust H. and Batty, G. David 2012. Cognitive ability in early adulthood as a predictor of habitual drug use during later military service and civilian life: the Vietnam Experience Study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 125 (1-2) , pp. 164-168. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.03.024

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Abstract

Background. Recent reports have linked cognitiveability (IQ) with alcohol dependency, but the relationship with illegal drug use is not well understood. Methods. Participants were 14,362 male US Vietnam veterans with IQ test results at entry into militaryservice in 1965–1971 (mean age 22.58) who participated in a telephone interview in 1985–1986. A structured diagnostic telephone interview was used to ascertain habitualdrug use during militaryservice (for once a week, ≥3 months) and in civilian life (in the past 12 months, ≥once a week), combat exposure, and post-traumatic stress disorder according to established Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders criteria (version III). Results. In unadjusted analysis, men with high IQ scores were less likely to be habitual users of cannabis (OR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.86, 0.93), cocaine (OR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.61, 0.78), heroin (OR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.73, 0.88), amphetamines (OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.83, 0.98), barbiturates (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.72, 0.86) and LSD (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.82, 0.99) during militaryservice and civilian life. These associations were markedly attenuated after adjustment for socioeconomic status in early and latercivilian life. Conclusion. In this cohort, socioeconomic position might lie on the pathway linking earlier IQ and laterhabitualdrug use but might also act as a surrogate for IQ. This suggests interventions to prevent drug use could attempt to improve early life IQ and opportunities for employment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: combat exposure, drugs, intelligence, post traumatic stress disorder, veterans
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0376-8716
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 07:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40929

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