Smoking Can Lead To Dementia
The bad news here is that smoking appears to increase the risk of dementia. The good news is that quitting can help reduce that added risk. Researchers in Korea reached these conclusions by following 46,140 men age 60 and older for an average of eight years. During that time, 1,644 of the men were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Compared to men who continued to smoke, those who had quit for four years or more during the study period had a 14 percent lower risk of dementia, while men who never smoked had a 19 percent lower risk for dementia and an 18 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study also showed that long-term quitters and men who never smoked had about a 30 per cent lower risk of vascular dementia, compared with smokers. (Vascular dementia is a decline in mental abilities due the blockage or reduction of blood flow to the brain.) The Korean team controlled for the study participants’ age, body mass index, blood pressure, physical activity and other aspects of health and behavior, but had no information on the men’s educational level, which is an influencing factor for dementia. Women weren’t included in the study because of their low rate of smoking in Korea.
Sang Min Park et al, “Effect of smoking cessation on the risk of dementia: a longitudinal study.” Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, September 5, 2018, doi.org/10.1002/acn3.633
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