Posted on Nov 05, 2010, 6 a.m.
Heavy smoking in midlife is associated with a 156% increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and a 172% increased risk of developing vascular dementia.
In that many studies have established that smoking is a risk factor for several life-threatening diseases, researchers from Kaiser Permanente (California, USA) have found serious, long-term consequences of heavy smoking on dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers followed an ethnically diverse population of 21,123 men and women from midlife onward for an average of 23 years. Compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day had more than a 157% increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease and 172% increased risk of vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, during the follow-up period of 23 years. Writing that: “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,” the team urges that: “The brain is not immune to long-term consequences of heavy smoking.”
Minna Rusanen; Miia Kivipelto; Charles P. Quesenberry Jr; Jufen Zhou; Rachel A. Whitmer. “Heavy Smoking in Midlife and Long-term Risk of Alzheimer Disease and Vascular Dementia.” Arch Intern Med, October 2010; doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.393.