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Men who smoke are more likely to develop dementia

Thursday 08 March 2012

A new study from University College London, led by Dr. Severine Sabia, shows that men who smoke are more likely to develop dementia later in life.

The research team examined the association between smoking history and cognitive decline in the transition from midlife to old age. In the study, researchers analysed data using six assessments of smoking status over 25 years and three cognitive assessments over ten years. They made four key findings:

  • smoking in men in associated with more rapid cognitive decline
  • men who continued to smoke over the follow-up experienced greater decline
  • men who quit smoking in the ten years preceding the first cognitive measure were still at risk of greater cognitive decline
  • long-term ex-smokers did not show faster cognitive decline.

Dr. Sabia said: "Finally, our results show that the association between smoking and cognition, particularly at older ages, is likely to be underestimated owing to higher risk of death and dropout among smokers."