October 25th, 2010
04:52 PM ET
Smoking boosts risk for Alzheimer's
Here's yet another reason to stop smoking: It elevates the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, according to a new study.
An analysis of more than 20,000 men and women found a 157 percent heightened risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day. For vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia, these smokers had a 172 percent increased risk.
"Dementia is a disease that crops up in late life, and that becomes clinically apparent, but I think people really need to think about risk factors for it over the life course," said Rachel Whitmer, study co-author and research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.
The study, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers say the association between smoking and various forms of dementia is strong, but they do not know exactly why. It has been shown before that people who smoke are more likely to have hypertension and cerebral vascular disease, as well as inflammation, Whitmer said. Smoking may contribute to the damage of brain blood vessels in addition to brain cells, she said.
The data came from Kaiser Permanente Northern California members surveyed between 1978 and 1985. At that time, they were between ages 50 and 60. Diagnoses of various forms of dementia among these people were made from 1994 to 2008, and researchers took that information from electronic health records. The participants in this study were all alive and still members of the health plan in 1994.
Researchers found that associations with the development of the disease are more modest among smokers who use up fewer than two packs a day, but still significant. Those who smoked a half-pack to one pack a day had an overall 37 percent elevated risk of dementia, and those who smoked between one and two packs had a 44 percent heightened risk, compared to non-smokers.
But this could be an underestimation, because some smokers who would have developed dementia died before diagnosis, said Kenneth Hepburn, associate dean for research at the Emory University School of Nursing, who was not involved in the study.
The reported risk of dementia among heavy smokers is also likely an underestimation because many of those people will die before they're old enough to develop dementia, he said.
While the elevated risk for various forms of dementia was shown for those smoking two packs a day in midlife, smoking less than half a pack of cigarettes a day, or having smoked in the past, did not appear to raise the risk compared with nonsmokers.
Hepburn found the study compelling, and noted that it incorporated an ethnically diverse population of both men and women.
"This gives great confidence in saying this kind of heavy smoking has some kind of association – and it looks like a fairly strong association – with the development of the disease," he said.
One limitation of the study is that researchers collected data only about smoking habits among middle-aged people; it did not look at what happened among those who had quit after the initial survey, Whitmer said.
The research speaks to what the Alzheimer's Association Maintain Your Brain campaign is promoting: that brain health has a lot to do with overall health, Hepburn said.
"The brain is part of the body, it’s part of the whole and if you assault parts, it’s going to have an impact on the whole," he said.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Hi! I could have sworn IÃve visited this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itÃs new to me. Nonetheless, IÃm certainly pleased I found it and IÃll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!
Wonderful work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)
ItÃs hard to come by experienced people about this subject, but you seem like you know what youÃre talking about! Thanks
Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and come with approximately all vital infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .
This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I've shared your website in my social networks!
I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. All the best
A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don't discuss such issues. To the next! All the best!!
I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.
Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I'm happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .
Hello! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your great info you have got right here on this post. I'll be coming back to your site for more soon.
I'm very pleased to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at new things on your web site.
Just bookmarked this blog post as I have actually found it quite practical.
Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
Keep working ,great job!
Ive read several good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a fantastic informative web site.
Keep working ,splendid job!
Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are hunting around for this info, you could help them greatly.
Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this site needs far more attention. IÃll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!
Your style is unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.
You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.
HiWhat's upHi thereHello everyone, it's my first visitgo to seepay a visitpay a quick visit at this websiteweb sitesiteweb page, and articlepostpiece of writingparagraph is reallyactuallyin facttrulygenuinely fruitful fordesigned forin favor ofin support of me, keep up posting suchthesethese types of articlespostsarticles or reviewscontent.
hello!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking forward to see you.
Great article. I'm going through some of these issues as well..
Wonderful work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)
Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÃ–HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for decades. Great stuff, just excellent!
I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.
Just bookmarked this article as I have found it fairly valuable.
Thanks to Dr Ajayi who cured me from herpes, I was suffering from herpes five years before I meet Dr Ajayi who cure me with herbs, today am a living testimony to those who are also suffering from herpes or any other diseases you met have be suffering from Dr Ajayi is going to help you cure it with his powerful herbs. I saw Dr Ajayi recommendations online, and I contact him, and he prepared a herbal medicine and send to me which I took for 14 days with the instruction he give's me, and when I did a test in the hospital my result came out negative it was the happiest day of my life that am cure from herpes are you also suffering from same virus or another diseases and virus you can simply contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org you can also call or whatsapp him +2348154724883. visit his website https://ajayiherbalhome.weebly.com for more information.
Love the way you cover this subject.
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I donÃt know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
What i don't realize is actually how you are not actually much more well-liked than you might be now. You're so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren't fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!
I am impressed with this site, very I am a fan.
Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange contract between us!