Posted on Wed, 3 Nov 10
As if cancer, heart attack or stroke were not reason enough to stop smoking a new study has found that smoking doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study followed over 21,000 men and women over an average of 23 years from middle age to later in life. It was found that those who reported smoking in middle age had a dose dependent increase risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with heavy smokers (more than two packs a day) experiencing a two fold increase in risk decades later in life.
Compared to non smokers heavy smokers were 157% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and 172% more likely to develop vascular dementia while lighter smoking (half to one pack daily) raised dementia risk by 37%.
“Heavy smoking in midlife was associated with a greater than 100% increase in risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia more than 2 decades later” commented the study investigators. “The large detrimental impact that smoking already has on public health has the potential to become even greater as the population worldwide ages and dementia prevalence increases.”
Rusanen M, Kivipelto M, Quesenberry CP Jr, Zhou J, Whitmer RA. Heavy Smoking in Midlife and Long-term Risk of Alzheimer Disease and Vascular Dementia. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]