Smoking increases risk of midlife dementia, confusion
The findings build on previous research that has established a relationship between smoking and Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and may point to an opportunity to identify signs of trouble earlier in life. .
There’s also more evidence that quitting smoking is not only good for your breathing and heart, but also protects mental health.
The association they found was most significant in the 45-59 age group, suggesting that quitting at that stage of life may benefit cognitive health. A similar difference was not found in the oldest group in the study, which could mean that quitting earlier offered people more benefits.
Watch out for smoking habits for early signs of dementia
The data for the study were obtained from the 2019 National Behavioral Risk Factor Monitoring System Survey and allowed the team to compare measures of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) for current smokers. smokers, those who have smoked recently and those who have quit many years before. The analysis included 136,018 people 45 years of age and older, and approximately 11% reported SCD.
The incidence of SCD in smokers in the study was almost 1.9 times higher than in non-smokers. The prevalence rate in people who quit smoking less than 10 years ago is 1.5 times higher than in non-smokers. People who quit smoking more than a decade before the survey had a slightly higher incidence of SCD than the non-smokers group.
These findings may imply that time since smoking cessation is important and may be related to cognitive outcomes. The simplicity of the SCD, a relatively new measure, may by itself be more widely applicable.
Many people don’t have access to more in-depth testing sessions or specialists – making the potential applications for measuring SCD even greater.
Please note that these self-reported experiences do not lead to a diagnosis, nor do they independently confirm that a person is experiencing normal aging. However, they could be a simple, low-cost tool to consider for wider use, he said.